Power won't be shut off at Miami apartment building, FPL workers say

Residents received letter stating electrical conditions were unsafe

MIAMI – Residents of a Miami apartment complex were relieved Thursday morning as they were notified that their power would not be shut off because of electrical issues.

Workers from Florida Power & Light told Local 10 News that they are working on the issues, including replacing stolen copper wire that runs from a pole to the building's electrical room.

On Wednesday, many residents of the three-story building off Northwest 62nd Street and 12th Avenue were distraught over their power being shut off. Some said they have young children while others have special needs and use machines that they need to survive.

On Wednesday morning, they all received a letter, hand delivered by UPS, from FPL advising them that the electrical conditions, specifically the wiring and setup in the meter room, are unsafe. The letter also indicated that if their landlord didn't make repairs by Thursday morning electricity to the entire building would be disconnected.

FPL workers said the building needed more than $20,000 in electrical repairs.

"I'm on a fixed income, I get disability," said Jemeena Grimes on Wednesday. "I don't have a place where I can just up and leave. Even if the repairs are made they're telling us we still need to leave anyway because the power is going to be off for quite some time while repairs are being made."

A spokeswoman for FPL told Local 10 New that the tenants will not have to move, stating that some work in the building's electrical room has been completed, and permits to do additional work have been pulled.

But a local community activist group, which was  ready to assists the residents, said the residents are in no means in the clear. 

"There's more to this because these people are living in horrible conditions," said the Rev. Oden Reese.

Some activists toured the building Thursday and said they're calling on local city and state-elected officials to step in and hold the property owner accountable for the deplorable conditions the tenants are living in.

"I'm calling names today -- (county) Commissioner (Audrey) Edmundson, (city) Commissioner (Keon) Hardemon, (county) Mayor (Carlos) Gimenez, (city) Mayor (Tomas) Regaldo," said Nataniel Wilcox. "They are responsible for the safety and welfare of these people, not just the people who give to their campaigns. Their lives matter too."

Follow Roger Lohse on Twitter @RogerLohse

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