Broken elevators trap seniors in apartments

BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Notre Dame de la Mer Manor Apartment complex in Bay St. Louis is four stories high and home to 61 residents, all 62 years old or older. Residents said many of them are disabled. There are two elevators, but residents said both of them have been broken for more than three weeks.

"It's terrible. It's getting me mentally," one resident said.

The only way residents living on the upper levels can go anywhere is if they are able to walk the stairs. One resident said she has only been able to leave twice, and each time was a struggle.

"I went down to a wedding the first Friday it broke, and I liked to have not got up at all," she said.

The only other time the woman left was for Easter. She said it was so hard on her that she stayed in bed for three days afterwards.

"I cannot get down until the elevators are fixed," she said.

She said there are some residents who are worse off than she is.

"My neighbor, she has not been down since it happened," she said.

Another resident we talked with lives on the first floor, but she has to go to the second floor to do her laundry.

"I'm 91-years-old, and I've had two knee replacements. It's not really good for me to be doing all this," she said. "Sometimes I can get someone to help me. Other times there's no one around."

Apartment Manager Sandy Rhodes says the hydraulic jacks on the elevators are broken. The parts have been ordered and should be in this week. She said it will take at least another three weeks to install them.

"We have people on this property that live in these apartments that have gone beyond the call," Rhodes said. "They are cooking meals, are going out and getting groceries."

She said the fire department and various youth groups have also helped out.

"I come on the weekends. I try to be here as much as possible, although I understand I haven't done enough. I have done everything I know, and have called everyone I know to get this resolved," Rhodes said.

We also reached out to ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas, who is in charge of fixing the elevators. A representative told us they hope to have the elevators back up and running in three to four weeks if they do not run into any problems. The representative also said there is no way the apartment complex could have known the elevators were going to break.

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