Scores of seniors are stranded in Stuy Town — and they’re desperate for medication, heat and electricity.
A four-hour walk through one 14-story building in the mammoth complex found numerous elderly residents stuck in their homes and feeling as if they have no way to escape.
“We have no family, so there’s nowhere else to go,” said Paula Nayowitz, 90.
She said she and her husband, Al Nayowitz, 91, were cold and hungry in their apartment on the seventh floor.
“My husband is very frail. He can’t stand long,” she said.
The pair was hesitant to turn on their cellphones — they didn’t want them to run out of precious battery power in case their situation worsened.
But an emergency was a real possibility: Nayowitz needs medicine for her rheumatoid arthritis, and her husband is due to have a pacemaker installed soon.
The only thing illuminating their extremely cluttered apartment were candles, which as a fire hazard presented a whole new possibility for an emergency.
The situation in Stuy Town is so dire that City Councilman Dan Garodnick and the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association asked volunteers to knock on every apartment in the complex to make sure no elderly or sick people were in distress.
Audrey Gelman, a spokeswoman for Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, said there was widespread concern about older residents in the community of more than 25,000 at the complex stretching from E. 14th to E. 20th Sts. on the East side.
When Stringer visited Wednesday, at least three buildings out of 35 were without gas. One resident told him she heard a terrifying scream during the middle of the night Tuesday from a resident who did not know what time or day it was.
“As the number of days without electricity grows, there definitely seemed to be a lot of unease, especially about the condition and welfare of elderly residents,” Gelman said. “People are concerned that updates and information isn’t getting to the higher floors.”
On the 13th floor, John Farley, 77, was worried about missing appointments in advance of an operation on his carotid arteries
“They’re 90 % blocked,” he said.
Fortunately, many seniors did have neighbors looking out for them.
Josef and David Schreik delivered French bread to neighbors and said they’d been keeping an eye on the elderly in their building.
With any luck, they won’t have to be so vigilant for much longer. Con Edison has said it hopes to restore electricity to Manhattan by Saturday.
Amid their travail, some elderly residents in Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village seemed to be doing just fine.
John Roth, 94, a retired FBI agent, said his children were nearby and popping in with food and news. He was passing the time pacing the dark hallway to keep in shape. And a neighbor, Amy Hanan, 85, had but one complaint: “I miss my gym.”