‘Elevated’ concerns at Elkhart apartment building

Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 6:23 PM EDT
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - There are elevated concerns at an Elkhart apartment building due to an elevator outage there.

Waterfall High Rise stands 10 stories tall and after nine days without any elevator service some tenants are starting to feel like they’re under some new kind of stay at home order.

“I feel that I’m a prisoner in my own home because of the fact that I cannot go up and down the elevator,” said 10th floor resident Terry Turner.

With asthma and a heart condition Turner today ventured down 10 flights of stairs for just the second time since Wednesday of last week when the elevator outage hit.

Meantime, pictures were shared with 16 News Now that show fire department medics carrying a resident up the stairs to her 8th floor flat.

“One of my Uber riders lives here and she has a pacemaker, she has COPD. She’s on the eighth floor and she just could not make the steps,” said a woman who wanted to remain anonymous. “And they got her and put her in a little bitty chair and struggled all the way up. Just imagine if everybody called them guys to carry everybody up the steps.”

Antwan Caples lives in Atlanta but worries about his mother who lives on the 5th floor. “The other day I called her and said what are you doing? She was out of breath. She said I’m coming up the stairs. She said it took her 30 minutes to come up the stairs, that’s absolutely ridiculous.”

While it was hoped repairs could be completed by September 4th, that date has now been pushed back until early next week, and a Plan B has been developed.

“As of today any resident that wants to be relocated while the elevator’s being repaired will be relocated to a local hotel,” said Ann Washington, Interim Director of the Elkhart Housing Authority. “I didn’t intend to do anyone no harm. I appreciate the residents advocating for themselves they have a right to do that. I just want to get this elevator repaired as soon as possible.”

Washington said she lived on the 14th floor of a public housing high rise in Chicago as a child and knows first hand how hard it is to deal with elevator outages.

At least 17 Waterfall High Rise residents have accepted the offer to move to a hotel.

In the long run, the authority has landed a $518,000 federal grant to replace both of the elevators at Waterfall.

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