Residents at Bronx complex spend days without water

The more than 5,000 residents of the Patterson Houses in the Bronx are used to temporary challenges that become permanent problems, such as a temporary boiler that has been in place for five years. But the latest obstacle to decent living is putting them over the edge.

For nearly 12 hours through Sunday night, more than 2,000 residents of the houses had to get water from a hydrant because there was none in their apartments. Cancer patient Norma Nieves, who has many health issues, said she couldn't clean her wounds.

Tenant association president Patricia Simpson said the 12 high-rise buildings in the 25-building complex were dry.

A NYCHA spokesperson told Fox 5: "This is yet another example of the problems we face given our aging infrastructure, but we must do better providing basic services despite these challenges."

Those challenges are a daily reality. One resident has kept a calendar of the days without heat and/or hot water.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said he is outraged.

"I'm here because I'm mad as hell," he said. "We're here because we're mad as hell."

A temporary pump was brought in and hooked up to the fire hydrant to give residents water. But for some, it didn't make much difference and the damage was done. Clarisa Alayeto couldn't cook for her 94-year-old grandmother.

The water is on now but residents believe it will go out again at some point.

Diaz wants to know why a contingency plan doesn't seem to be in place for these emergencies.