NEW ORLEANS -- More than 60 elderly citizens were evacuated Thursday afternoon from an Uptown assisted living center and transported to a nearby nursing home because a back-up generator failed earlier in the day.
The Poydras Home, in the 5300 block of Magazine Street, had been without its back-up electricity since about 3 a.m. Thursday. The temperature at the facility, which houses elderly citizens in wide-ranging states of need, started rising, according to Dena Olivier, president of the home's board of directors. Not knowing when power would return, she and others feared the facility would grow even more hot and uncomfortable.
"You just don't know," Olivier said.
In stepped State Rep. Neil Abramson, D-New Orleans, and leaders at other local nursing homes. Through a series of phone calls, the Lambeth House, a nearby retirement home, offered to help house the additional senior citizens, most of whom are in their 80s. Meanwhile, the John J. Hainkel, Jr. Home and Rehabilitation Center, offered their buses to help transport the group.
"This is a group effort," said Mary Brooks Rodrigue, general manager of the Hainkel Home. "We are neighbors. We have to stick together in this business."
Olivier said the Poydras Home lost electricity earlier in the week and had been relying on a back-up generator. The generator had previously gone through several tests and worked fine. For reasons unclear, it broke at 3 a.m. Technicians were at the building Thursday trying to fix the system.
The Poydras Home residents already had their own pre-packed storm bags and air mattresses. And officials were optimistic that the temporary move to the Lambeth House would be short-lived and relatively seamless.
Abramson, who was at the assisted living center Thursday and helped in the move, said his Uptown district came out from the hurricane relatively unscathed. Nearly all of the calls he received from constituents concerned downed trees and minor street flooding.