Power outage at Passaic housing complex leaves hundreds in the dark

This outage happened in the middle of New Jersey’s first heat wave of the summer, impacting more than 1,000 people.

Naomi Yané

Jun 25, 2024, 12:53 AM

Updated 19 days ago

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Over 1,000 tenants in a Passaic County public housing complex had been without electricity for two days, according to residents.
"We have elderly people that can’t walk that are stuck in their apartments. It’s crazy out here. This is the longest I’ve ever seen,” said Speer Village tenant Quanasia Cohen.
This outage happened in the middle of New Jersey’s first heat wave of the summer, leaving tenants struggling to stay cool, looking for solutions for elderly and disabled tenants and having to throw out food and refrigerated medications.
Yolanda Jiles takes care of her disabled elderly aunt. They live on the fifth floor of the building.
"She’s diabetic, she has high blood pressure, she’s partially blind. I can’t bring her down from the fifth floor because she can’t see going down and the stairs are pitch black,” Jiles said.
The almost 75-year-old buildings house around 380 families. The electricity has been restored to all six buildings at Speer Village and officials are hopeful that power will stay on.
Passaic Mayor Hector Lora gave kudos to the tenants for their endurance.
“I must commend the families of Aspen Place. They have looked out for each other, checked on seniors, been supportive, remained united and truly been a community,” Lora said. “This has been an unprecedented situation in Passaic.”
It’s still unclear what caused the outage but according to the mayor, electricians with the Department of Housing and Urban Development will have to go through each circuit one by one to hopefully find a cause.


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