Beating the Heat with No A.C.

WILLIAMSPORT — Temperatures reached almost 90 degrees today in Lycoming County. Many residents at an apartment complex in Williamsport are dealing with the heat–without air conditioning.

The temperature in Betty Helm’s apartment in Williamsport was almost 90 degrees inside a few weeks ago. She says she was treated at a hospital for dehydration.

“I was so hot. I couldn’t even get myself anything to eat or drink, I just wanted to stay in front of the fan,” Helm said.

Helm had an air conditioner but the Lycoming County Housing Authority would not let her use it. The authority took over ownership of the Mary Slaughter Apartment Complex in Williamsport last year. It says residents with only one window in their apartments may not install an air conditioner because of fire hazard regulations. Elizabeth Stine is one of more than a dozen residents affected.

“We have to endure all summer until then with fans. It’s 90 degrees today. I know,” Stine said.

Stine says she and her neighbors have been dealing with the heat, but it is uncomfortable.

“You stay very still. You don’t do a lot of work,” Stine said.

Residents say the Lycoming County Housing Authority provided them with some relief, like an air conditioner that sits in the building’s laundry room and heavy-duty fans on each of the floors.

Betty Helm’s daughter bought her a portable air conditioner that was approved by the housing authority. She says the authority plans to install central air in the apartment complex in August.

“Well, big deal, our hottest summer is in July and August, you know,” Helm said.

Newswatch 16 contacted the Lycoming County Housing Authority. We were transferred to the authority’s executive director, who did not return our call.



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