Woman suffers after new AC unit breaks

August 3, 2008 9:09:08 PM PDT
Sunday afternoon on Dorothea Drive, outside Lena Shotwell's apartment--it's ninety-one degrees. Inside the apartment---it's 85. The central air unit here went out Friday evening. Now she's sweating---and angry with the Raleigh housing authority.

"It's time for somebody to know how they're doing things over here," she told us. "I shouldn't have to sit here the whole weekend, like this."

She says she called the housing authority Friday to report the broken AC. Hours later--two fans arrived, brought by"the maintenance man, and his supervisor, at one o'clock in the morning. Haven't seen or heard from him since, " she said on Sunday.

He calls back while we're there--after she calls the housing authority for an update on the repair. He says he'll check with a supervisor to see when the unit can be fixed.

Shotwell, hot and visible uncomfortable. tells him " Friday night you told me nothing could be done about it because this was a non-emergency, and you know I'm on oxygen!"

He keeps telling her he has to call more people to deal with her problem.

Seeing her frustration--I ask him while he's on her phone when the unit will be fixed. He hangs up, and Shotwell fights back tears as she sobs,: "it's not fair!"

Earlier, someone taking calls for the housing authority told me they've got 30 units like hers on the fritz, and they're trying to get them all fixed.

She also told me she didn't know Ms. Shotwell was in a hot apartment, on oxygen."

Shotwell's still there---sitting, sweating, waiting for an AC repair she first requested on Friday night.


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