Frigid temps burst pipes at Gary senior high-rise
By Carole Carlson email@example.com/(219) 302-0949 January 8, 2014 12:26PM
Frigid temperatures caused two pipes to burst at Genesis Towers. | Post-Tribune File Photo
Updated: February 10, 2014 11:48AM
GARY — Two pipes burst at the Genesis Towers senior high-rise Tuesday night, leaving residents without hot water.
Meanwhile, the high-rise’s freight elevator stopped working because of freezing temperatures, setting off the fire alarm system.
Jereon M. Brown, deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said crews have been working around the clock to fix the problems, although some residents have voiced complaints about a lack of action.
Brown said Genesis Towers residents at 578 Broadway do have heat. The building, third-tallest in the city, first opened in 1926 as the Hotel Gary.
Brown said a plumber from Hammond was en route to the center Wednesday to repair the broken pipes. He said the breaks occurred in the basement and on the first floor. Staff worked to remove standing water, he said.
Brown said the Gary Fire Department turned off the alarm system. The alarm company planned to reset the alarm Wednesday, Brown said.
GHA staff conducted wellness checks on residents on each floor. The building has 121 units, but there was no estimate of how many people live there.
About 3,000 people live in the city’s nine public housing centers. In July, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development took over operation of the Gary Housing Authority from the city because of growing problems.
Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said the GHA was losing money and failing to keep up with maintenance.