Residents at a Thermal mobile home park are one step closer to having their power restored.
Nearly a dozen homes at the Hernandez Mobile Home Park have been without electricity for more than three weeks, but an Indio judge Thursday ordered the owners to turn the lights back on.
Several residents filed a lawsuit last Friday asking the courts to intervene.
There are 21 homes in the park, and at least nine of them have had no power since Sept. 8. That’s when an electrical box caught fire and cut the power off.
The owners wouldn’t fix the electrical box because they said they couldn’t afford it.
But residents said that’s a poor excuse.
“There’s some people that are sick,” said Coral Padilla, a resident. “They are diabetic.”
The families living in these powerless homes couldn’t cook for three weeks or turn on the air conditioning. They suffered in the heat, and at night, they lived in the dark.
“There are little kids and they don’t have food and nothing,” said Padilla. “So, yeah — really bad.”
To make matters worse, residents said the owners turned the water off to all homes at around 8:30 a.m. on Friday.
It was eventually turned back on in the evening.
Residents believe it was turned off intentionally in retaliation to the court ruling.
“(The owners) have control over the water,” said Padilla. “But they didn’t give us an explanation (as to) why they did it.
Two of the nine homes without power are now hooked up to generators, but they only supply eight hours of electricity per day.
The owners could not be reached for comment.
Friday night, the power was still off.
“(The court said the owners) have to put the power on in three days,” said Padilla. “If they don’t do it then I think they will lose the ranch.”
But the attorney representing the residents said the owners have until Oct. 21 to comply with the order.