Riverview Towers residents in hotels wait on housing repairs

Residents flee to hotels as crews make needed repairs to Riverview Towers
First the air conditioning, then the power went out at Riverview Towers, forcing residents out. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
First the air conditioning, then the power went out at Riverview Towers, forcing residents out. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE) - First the air conditioning went out, then the power. Now, crews are making needed repairs to Riverview Towers in New Albany.

Residents were gone from the towers Thursday as crews worked to make repairs. How long people will be displaced, residents said they just don't know.

"I've heard a week, I've also heard four to six weeks," Billy Flynn, a longtime Riverview Towers resident, said.

The air conditioning went out Tuesday July 24th. Monday the 30th, the power went down, forcing residents like Billy Flynn to nearby hotels.

"Well the bad thing is, I don't have a stove or refrigerator in my room," Flynn said. "So I have to eat out every meal, they have provided some meal tickets but they haven't said what happens when those run out."

On limited incomes, any added costs are tough.

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The pet rent for Flynn's cat, Gigi, and other pets staying with residents at hotels are being paid for by the Floyd County Animal Rescue League. Brad Bane, President of the Floyd County Animal Rescue League, said this makes the most sense for the animals and their owners, keeping their companions around without adding on extra costs of finding alternative lodging for pets.

Vernon Gatton is staying at the Clarksville Radisson with Flynn. He's now on his second hotel after the first one didn't have a handicapped room for him.

"It's been very stressful. But I mean, they're doing all they can do here," Gatton said. "I'm just worried about the future and what's going to happen in the end."

He'll take the bus or ride his wheelchair down to New Albany on Friday to make sure rent is paid on the apartment he's not able to stay in.

The housing authority will have the power on at Riverview Towers for a few hours Thursday, Friday and throughout the weekend so residents can come in and get what they need out of their apartments. Many of the Riverview residents have health issues that are best served in their own apartments. Now, they just want to know how long it will be until they can go home.

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"I have congestive heart failture, arythmia, diabetes, renal failure where I have to be on dialysis -- a host of medical issues. And I'm more comfortable in my apartment," Flynn said.

"I just want it to all be over with," Gatton said.

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