June 21, 2024
Dozens of elderly residents from the Oak Grove Senior Terrace Apartments are staying in area hotels after a water leak forced them to evacuate.

OAKLEY — Managers of a four-story affordable housing complex said Monday they hope to soon re-open the building to dozens of residents displaced after a water leak on Sunday.

The Oak Grove Senior Terrace Apartments have been red-tagged by the city, after a clogged wastewater line could have leaked into the electrical panel for the building’s elevator, said Ed Cafasso, a spokesperson for the property. Residents of the 44 units on Carol Lane are currently staying at three area hotels at no cost to them, he said.

The leak prompted Contra Costa County Fire Protection District officials to order power be shut off Sunday.

Oakley Vice Mayor Shannon Shaw said the city can’t confirm the timeline for when the building will reopen and residents can return. But she said the city is doing “everything within our power” to help get the building reopened as soon as possible, and won’t let anyone move back in until inspectors sign off on the complex being safe.

The leak was caused by a clog in the wastewater line on the first floor, forcing water to back up and to overflow into a vacant second-floor apartment that was adjacent to the elevator shaft, Cafasso said.

Contrary to initial reports, no one was trapped in the building’s elevator, Cafasso said. An inspection late Sunday also found that no water had come in contact with the elevator’s control panel or electrical service.

Cafasso said PG&E is expected to restore power to the building on Tuesday, and by Wednesday residents should be able to return to their homes once a safety check is performed on all building systems, including the elevator.

After the evacuation, management staff retrieved residents’ personal belongings, arranged for their hotel stays and are having lunch and dinner delivered to them until they can return home, Cafasso said. Residents also will get a partial credit on their June rent.

On Monday, building management delivered $300 Visa gift cards to residents to help them replace any food that’s been spoiled and to cover other costs, Cafasso said.