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Electrical box falls in parking garage of Austin apartment complex, knocking out power and forcing residents to evacuate

The apartment complex management told residents they needed to pack their things and find somewhere else to stay for the night.

AUSTIN, Texas — Hundreds of residents at a Downtown Austin apartment complex were forced to quickly pack their things and find somewhere else to stay for the night after an electric box fell in the parking garage Thursday night, April 28.

A resident at the Northshore Apartments located on San Antonio Street near Cesar Chavez Street reached out to KVUE that night saying that 500 to 600 people were without power after they said cables fell in the parking garage. A photo shows an electrical box on top of a car in the parking garage.

Credit: Sam Goldsmith
The Austin Fire Department said an electrical conduit fell from the ceiling of a parking garage, knocking out power to residents.

The Austin Fire Department told KVUE just before 8 p.m. that an electrical conduit fell from the ceiling of the parking garage, knocking out power at the complex. Firefighters left and turned the situation over to the complex management. No injuries were reported, AFD said.

As of Friday, May 13, hundreds of residents were still without power, according to KVUE's media partners at the Austin American-Statesman. The company that operates the building, Greystar, had planned to turn the power back on in three phases, starting at the top of the building and going down to the 23rd floor.

"We have to work with the city who has to power up each grid and communicate with our repair team before we can turn the power back on to each phase," the management team said in a statement to the American-Statesman.

Take a look at video of the damage in the parking garage:

A resident told KVUE a generator was turned on after the box fell, but residents never got power back. The apartment complex sent out an email to residents recommending they evacuate, as they needed to turn off power to the entire building at 9:30 p.m. They said it was necessary to inspect damages and complete repairs.

"It has been brought to our attention that there has been a major emergency electrical incident in the building," the email to residents said. "We have emergency response crews and vendors on site currently, we do not have an ETA as to when power will be restored. As our first priority is resident safety, we are recommending for all residents to gather belongings and make arrangements to stay elsewhere for the evening."

Northshore management said they sent team members door to door to ensure that all residents were evacuated from the building. The management apologized to residents for the inconvenience.


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