VIDEO: Water main break leads to San Francisco luxury high-rise losing electricity for days


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The electricity is finally back on inside a San Francisco luxury high-rise apartment building.

The building had been in the dark Tuesday.

The fix is only temporary as contractors and electricians work to solve the underlying problem.

The electricity running through the luxury apartments is coming from generators on Friday night.

The whole mess started with a water main break, and though some people are frustrated by the lack of utilities, a lot of people tell KRON4 management is handling things the right way.

People who live in apartments in Carmel Rincon on Howard Street can see great views of the Bay, but for most of this week, they haven’t had much of a view inside their homes.

“The water, the hot water, the electricity. So yeah, it’s been an interesting week,” resident Jeff Anderson said.

On Monday, a water main broke, sending water into an electrical panel for the building.

That day, residents lost hot water, and the next day they lost power. The electrical panel had to be shut down and still has to dry out completely before it can be repaired.

During the dark days, management company Greystar issued everyone portable lights to use at home.

“For lack of a better term, people have had to camp for three days,” resident Joey Carfagno said. “But it’s not been difficult at all.”

This man’s not alone in thinking that.

Several building tenants told KRON4 they were impressed by the building’s willingness to bring in food trucks and pay for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for everyone, since cooking at home hasn’t been possible.

“You know, I definitely think it’s the time of year for grace, and in my heart, I do think they’ve done the best job they can,” resident Barbara Daniels said.

With contractors and generators working outside, the lights started coming back on Friday evening.

“The power’s coming back on, slowly but surely, floor by floor,” Carfagno said.

The apartments have had running cold water all week.

But because it will take a while for the auxiliary generators to heat everyone’s water, Carmel Rincon has offered residents passes to the YMCA around the corner so they can shower–and is also footing the bill for anyone wanting to stay in a hotel Friday night.

A resident who wrote an e-mail to KRON4 says despite those nice gestures, the whole situation is still frustrating and humiliating for the tenants, who pay anywhere from $3,000-to-$5,000 a month in rent.

Several others, though, don’t hold the building at fault.

“They’ve bent over backwards in a very difficult situation,” Anderson said.

A spokesman for Greystar emailed KRON4 and says right now, it’s hard to know exactly how long the building will be running on generators.

But come Monday, they should have a better idea of the extent of the water damage and about how long it will take to fix.

Here is a statement from the apartments:

“We share the concerns and frustrations of residents with regard to the power outage at our community. The main domestic water line at the community burst and channeled water into an electrical panel, which needs to be fully dried out before it can be repaired. We are working diligently with electricians and contractors to restore power as soon as possible, and should know more on Monday morning as to the extent of the water damage. In the meantime, we have set up auxiliary power through generators for the community that is expected to be back online at 8 p.m. tonight and have booked rooms for residents at nearby hotels at our expense as it may take some time for the auxiliary power to restore full heat to the community.”



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