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The Palms Nursing and Rehabilitation Center preparing for possible power failure

Posted at 9:02 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 22:09:11-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The heat has been slowly rising, and with that, the number of people cranking up their air conditioners.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is responsible for about 90 percent of the state’s electricity and blames the demand for electricity for six of their power generation facilities going offline, which resulted in a weakening of their power.

ERCOT said all their resources available are now operating properly.

Joe Perez lives at the Palms Nursing and Rehabilitation.

He said during last summer, the center lost power.

“It was just so hot, that even having to go outside it was a little cooler than what it was inside,” Perez said.

He said while it hasn’t happened, many residents can face health hazards like fainting when experiencing extreme heat. He said he could see sweat dripping down people who were using a wheelchair to get around. He said it could be tough staying cool.

“I just keep positive, try and keep positive the whole time,” Perez said.

A representative from the Palms said they have back up generators and portable oxygen tanks for residents needing them during an outage.

He said they work with the City of Corpus Christi on an action plan in case they lose power during an extreme weather event. They have other facilities where they could evacuate residents to if needed, Perez added.

Nurse Melissa Flores said they are trained to attend to residents that need oxygen first.

“Some of them, if they’re off like two, three minutes, their oxygen level goes down quickly. So, we try to make sure that they’re on continuous, especially those that are continuous. They have to be put on within a couple of minutes,” Flores said.

Resident Shirley Faucett said she’s been living at the Palms for years and has experienced power outages during the winter and hurricane seasons.

She said she used a fan to stay cool during the outages, and some residents couldn’t handle the heat and had to move somewhere else for the time being.

“You just have to sit back and grin (…) wait until it comes back on,” Faucett said.

This past weekend, ERCOT asked residents to conserve power by setting their thermostats to 76 degrees or above.

They also asked residents to avoid using large appliances like dishwashers, washers and dryers during the peak hours of 3-8 p.m.

AEP Texas told us they recommend the same.

We reached out to ERCOT, but they said they could not do an interview.