Nursing facility in Norfolk loses AC during dangerous heat; repairs underway

10 On Your Side

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The City of Norfolk has been notified about a series of problems at a nursing facility in the city, including a lack of air conditioning as the area deals with the heat index close to 100 degrees.

Employees and visitors at Consulate Health Care at 3900 Llewellyn Ave. confirmed with 10 On Your Side’s Regina Mobley that at least part of the facility was without air conditioning since Wednesday night. City Code officials responded after a complaint was phoned in to a city call center.

WAVY saw plumbers and HVAC workers at the facility on Thursday morning. Plumbing crews were covered in sand as they responded to a problem. They were not covered with contaminants as previously reported.

City officials confirmed a power surge Wednesday night caused the air conditioner motor to malfunction. Cooling stations were set up for residents who were left without AC while crews worked to fix the system.

In an email to 10 On Your Side’s Regina Mobley, officials said that less than 1/3 of the residents were affected by the initial outage.

A power outage last evening resulted in an electrical issue with an air conditioner that services a portion of our center.  While it was only down briefly last night before being serviced by a technician, it stopped working again this morning at which time we identified that it was an electrical issue and not an issue with the AC unit itself.  Technicians returned to the center and worked quickly to repair the issue.   During this time, we ensured that every resident affected by the AC issue in that portion of the center had access to a cool zone that was set up to keep everyone comfortable.  The issue has been repaired and functioning properly.   

Jennifer L. TrappVice President, Corporate Communications & Creative Services

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A resident and a visitor who spoke to 10 On Your Side called it a dire situation at the facility.

The resident, a former reporter from New York who was transferred to the facility after being hospitalized for COVID-19 pneumonia, was in tears and coughing vigorously when she spoke with WAVY on Thursday. She said the air conditioner has malfunctioned and her oxygen machine also cuts off periodically.

Consulate officials said they believed all systems will be back to normal later Thursday. City officials said they were monitoring the air conditioning repairs to determine whether they will hold.

In a 3:45 p.m. update, Norfolk officials said the air conditioner for half of the building was back online. The unit was cooling as of that time, and an inspector was slated to go back Friday to verify it had cooled appropriately.

The city said management was “proactive, professional and compliant.”

Officials also gave more details about complaints of backed-up sewage: They said there was no indication of backed-up toilets, but there was a backed-up sink.

City officials wrote in an email: “Plumbers were on site for scheduled work on the main sewage line under the building to determine if there was a blockage or a need to replace line in the main pipe. The plumbers were excavating for the line in the basement which maintains run off water and is being pumped out of the area. It was not Sewage being pumped out.

“If sewer line issue were found a permit will be pulled and inspected for all work.”

The city added they will continue to monitor the issue.

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