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Apartment manager tells KHOU 11 crew to leave after talking to residents about power problem

CenterPoint Energy said there's nothing it can do because the problem lies within the apartment's equipment. Apartment management said it's CenterPoint's problem.

HOUSTON — For the second night in a row, residents living at an east Houston apartment complex will go to bed without power.

They said the electricity went out Monday night, and with Tuesday's heat and no air conditioning, they said it’s unbearable.

KHOU 11 News went to the Selena Apartments on Uvalde Road after the station was contacted by a resident asking for help.

Tuesday was not the day to be without air conditioning.

Temperatures in east Houston were in the 90s late Tuesday afternoon and the heat index reached 100 degrees.

"It was about 80," resident Marquis Davis said. "At least 80 at 6 a.m."

Davis said he heard a pop at about 10 p.m. Monday night and the lights went out in his apartment. He hasn’t had power since.

"Nothing has been resolved," Davis said. "Nobody can tell us when or what time we can expect it back on."

Residents said the managers sent them an email Tuesday letting them know they were gone.

In the front office: "They had a sign up that said, 'closed until further notice,'" Davis said.

Some residents without power have kids.

"Look, she’s hot," a mother said while holding her 1-year-old daughter outside. "We had to throw all the food away because it’s bad. The refrigerator’s not running. And food’s not cheap now."

The woman said she and her daughter won’t be able to do another night at their apartment without power.

"I can’t," she said. "I’m going to go somewhere else."

KHOU 11 News' calls to the management office went unanswered. CenterPoint Energy said its crew went to the complex after they were called overnight -- at about 1 a.m.

The crew determined the electrical problem has to do with the property that belongs to the apartment and not the electric provider. CenterPoint said the owner of the complex is the only one who can fix it.

"I’m the manager and I’m asking you to leave the property," a woman who pulled up in a black Mercedes-Benz after KHOU 11 News spoke with the residents.

"Can you tell us when the AC is going to come back on?" the KHOU 11 News crew asked her.

"Call CenterPoint," the woman said. "That’s where you need to take your cameras."

KHOU 11 left the property without getting answers from the apartment complex’s management.

Without any extra money for a hotel room Tuesday night, neighbors like Charles Buchanan said they didn't know what they were going to do.

"It’s 10 degrees hotter inside than it is outside," Buchanan said. "And I’ve got three dogs. One of which is a service animal. If she goes, I’m dead."

The Selena released this statement:

"The Selena regrets the disruption that was caused by the power outage to some of our residents. CenterPoint Energy was immediately contacted after it was discovered that a transformer blew late Monday night, but CenterPoint's repairs were not completed until 6pm on Tuesday. The Selena right away engaged a professional electrical contractor to do the further repairs, but they were unable to restore power. Two additional contractors were swiftly hired. The repair is complex as it involves underground power lines to be replaced. If the solution works as planned, the electrical contractors anticipate that the power can be restored this evening. Given the complexity of the situation, the contractors are working on a back-up plan to provide temporary power as well. The Selena has maintained communication with residents and coordinated with the City of Houston to provide cooling solutions to our tenants. We are also working with the City's Risk Management Office and the Fire Marshall among taking other safety measures. The Selena requires renters insurance, and staff has provided assistance to tenants to file renters insurance claims if any losses occurred such as spoiled food. Our residents are The Selena’s top priority, and we take their comfort and safety very seriously."

KHOU 11 News reached out to CenterPoint and the mayor pro-tem to verify some of the information in The Selena's statement.

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