Elderly at Risk of Hypothermia in Public Housing

Residents of high-rise buildings without power or heat are especially in danger.

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New Yorkers after Hurricane Sandy (John Moore/Getty Images)

Power has returned to parts of New York and New Jersey, but not everyone is back to normal. Some residents in areas hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy and the following snow storm are still dealing with dangerously low temperatures in their own homes. Alternet reports that more than 20,000 residents across New York City alone are still without running water and power, a deadly combination when temperatures sink below 35 degrees.

In the massive public housing complexes Red Hook, Brooklyn, seniors are trapped in high-rise apartment buildings without working elevators, reliant on neighbors or relief volunteer workers to bring them food and water. Teams of medical professionals have been dispatched by volunteer networks to give check ups and write new prescriptions, but many residents report that no one from the city agency has come to check on them.

In the Rockaways, Queens, many living above the sixth floor are without working plumbing, and they are forced to trudge up a dozen flights of stairs carrying gallons of drinking water. In the housing projects in the Lower East Side and Chinatown in Manhattan, many reported that the smell of excrement and urine was overwhelming in the housing developments last week, before the water and power was restored late last Friday.

Read more at Alternet.

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