Howard County Officials Focus on Nursing Homes in Power Outage

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HOWARD COUNTY - Thousands of homes and businesses in Howard County are without power after Tuesday morning's snowstorm, leaving some nursing homes in need of primary emergency attention.

Fayette Police Chief Bryan Kunze said 80 percent of the county was without power at 1 p.m. Tuesday, and said it could be days before everyone's power is restored.

His major concern was with getting elderly residents warm shelter and attentive care.

There are six nursing homes in Howard County, all in different positions with regard to power. Three have generators to keep power on in outages. One has power now, while three are operating with their generators.

KOMU 8 News visited the Fayette Caring Center Tuesday. Workers there are in the process of getting the facility ready to house an additional 21 people from another nursing home in the county. Fifteen people will be housed in extra beds and an extra six will be housed in the facility's recreation room.

Damon Gaines is in charge of maintenance at the facility. He explained how the Fayette Caring Center's gas generator works.

"It keeps our heating system working and operates our kitchen and emergency outlets to plug in oxygen tanks," he said. "The generator becomes very important because it maintains heat for our residents and keeps our kitchen refrigerators working."

Gaines said the Fayette Caring Center will supply its temporary residents with meals and cots.

"We'll take care of their every needs like they're our own residents."