Elderly and disabled still shut in after winter storm

Some people in The Local 6 area are still stuck in their homes. The elderly and disabled in subsidized housing units can’t clear their own sidewalks and steps of snow and ice. Now, more than a week after the storm, their resources are running out.

A shovel and a strong set of hands are all it takes to clear out what’s left after last week’s winter storm, but Sally Poole’s 78-year-old hands are out of strength. Poole said she’s out of her medication, too. “I have heart medicine in there, and I shouldn’t go without it.”

Since the storm, Poole has only tried to leave her apartment at Pierce Lackey Court once. She said, “I’m not going out no more. I’m just not gonna do it… You see them boots under there are as far as they’re gonna go.”

Poole’s parking spot is actually pretty clear. She could probably back out if she wanted to. The problem is, she can’t get to it without the fear of falling. “This is not fair to us and all the other sites in Paducah that are iced in and needs things like I need,” she said.

Paducah Housing Authority’s Executive Director Cal Ross said he knows his tenants have a problem, but their snow removal services stop at the street. Ross said, “It’s just something we can’t tackle. We don’t have the financial resources or staffing for it.” Ross said it’s also a liability. “If we clean it off and ice remains and they slip, we take responsibility.”

It’s a sensitive issue for the housing authority that is creating a pile of problems for people like Poole. “I’m just stuck. I’m just here,” she said.

Ross said they have about 100 miles of side walks and close to 30 acres of parking lots between the four housing authority complexes. Their maintenance personnel can’t clear all of that and stay on top of their other duties.

Ross said he’d welcome any charities or volunteer group interested in helping his elderly and disabled tenants. Call the housing authority office to get something like that set up. Tenants can also contact the housing authority’s board of directors concerning snow removal services.


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