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Cold temperatures force Billings senior living center to evacuate residents

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Posted at 5:53 PM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 19:53:37-05

BILLINGS — The frigid cold is affecting businesses across Billings, including Parkview Care Center on the South Side. On Jan. 2, the nursing home was forced to evacuate its seniors to another care facility because of heating problems.

One resident, 66-year-old Mike Runkle, anticipated that a new year would bring new changes to his life, but he never expected this.

“They were concerned with us getting too cold inside the facility so they evacuated us to Eagle Cliff,” said Runkle.

After living nearly six months at Parkview Care Center, Runkle learned that he and other residents of the nursing home were being transferred to the nearby care facility, Eagle Cliff Manor in the Heights.

"They told us to pack for two days,” Runkle said.

Parkview officials said in a statement that high winds and extreme temperatures on New Years Day caused the heating system to fail.

Runkle says that two days has since turned into a much longer stay.

“The latest update we’ve had is approximately two weeks,” Runkle said in a telephone interview.

As of Thursday, Jan. 6, Parkview Care Center says that a damaged coil was repaired and that they’re adding a "different measure of control to manage their air handlers" to prevent the problem.

Parkview’s heat might be back on, but they say the building isn’t ready for seniors to return just yet. Runkle is disappointed with the news.

“Frustrated is an adequate way to put it,” Runkle said.

His hope is to return to his home and to his belongings.

“We want to be back in our own home, obviously,” Runkle said.