Downtown Dallas apartment tower has no power, no water




Posted on September 5, 2012 at 10:34 PM

DALLAS — Gables Republic Tower has 229 units with more than 300 residents. On Monday night, an electrical component in an office below the residential levels malfunctioned.

The sprinklers went off, which flooded a circuit room.

That left the entire building in the dark.

"It was pitch black in here. We had to go through and find a trusty flashlight to sort of light our way around the apartment," said Karl Muller, a 17th floor resident who took a camera from News 8 into the building. He recorded his dark apartment and a thermostat that read 83 degrees.

Gables Republic Tower used to be Republic Bank. Back in the 1950s, it was the tallest building in Dallas.

"The most annoying part of staying here Monday night was the alarm system kept going on telling us there was an emergency in the building," Muller said, showing the speaker in his apartment. He, his wife, and two cats spent Tuesday night and Wednesday night at a relative's home.

By Tuesday afternoon, Gables Republic management was sending regular e-mails and text messages and updating its Facebook page to let residents know what was happening. They are covering the cost of hotel rooms at the Anatole and Hotel Indigo, which is allowing pets.

Management is also providing a food stipend and will clean out residents' refrigerators for them. They are hoping to come up with a plan to cover the cost of restocking those refrigerators, too.

Workers are busy repairing the malfunctioning component, but must also rely on the City of Dallas to sign off on the building's safety.

Because there was so much water, the city must perform moisture tests before occupancy is allowed. A test of the wiring was expected at 6 a.m. Thursday.

Management hopes to have a ruling on whether residents may be able to go home within a couple of hours following the test.

"I think patience is wearing thin," Muller admitted. "We just don't understand the extent of how bad this situation is."