Elevators fixed in Daytona Beach high rise days after breaking

Hurricane Sandy caused elevators to break down, stranding elderly

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, a number of elderly residents were stranded inside a Daytona Beach high rise for days because of broken elevators.

Officials said a number of mostly elderly residents were stranded from Friday until Monday afternoon inside the Maley Apartments in Daytona Beach.

"We couldn't go nowhere. We couldn't go downstairs," said 84-year-old Bernice Vaughn. "We couldn't do nothing but stay up here."

The 13-floor building, run by the Daytona Beach Housing Authority, contains 150 apartments. Residents said the elevators went out when a storm from the passing Hurricane Sandy hit the area. 

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Jesse Jane Marsden said she was stuck in her 11th floor apartment all weekend. She said she's disabled due to severe varicose veins in her legs and had to rely on a neighbor to take her 15-year-old Chihuahua down the stairs to be walked.

Residents received letters apologizing for any inconvenience.  They said, however, that the elevators break down often and the housing authority won't replace them because of the cost.

Disabled and elderly living in the Maley Apartments told Local 6 News that they're worried a fire or health problem will strike and they'll be trapped.

"Next time it could be dangerous," Vaughn said. "They could find somebody dead or rolling down the stairs trying to get out if there's a fire."

The elevators have relatives of the residents that worry the elevators won't stay fixed for long.

"They should put some new elevators in here instead of patching them up. It's been 18 years and this building's old," said Jacqueline Lock, Vaughn's daughter. "They know they need to put some new elevators in here."

The Daytona Beach Housing Authority tells Local 6 the elevator company was called on Friday and the reason elevators weren't fixed until Monday was because the parts needed to dry out.

The Daytona Beach Fire Department said a broken elevator doesn't violate code as long as the building has stairs. Fire officials do ask building managers to put anyone in a wheelchair on a lower floor.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

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