WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Residents in one housing complex in Wilmington found out Tuesday afternoon that they have until Thanksgiving to pack up and move out, because repair crews have to fix damage from Hurricane Florence.
Of the 100 units in the Jervay Community on Dawson Street, 80 units have water damage serious enough that they’re not safe to live in, according to Brendella Banks, site manager since 2007.
“I am just so sorry this happened but for the safety of my residents, this has to be done,” said Banks.
The water damage includes leaky roofs, moisture in the walls, and mold.
Inspectors started checking the units about one month after Hurricane Florence. Now, two months after the storm, 200 people have learned they have nine days to find somewhere else to live for about six months while the repairs are made, according to Banks.
One impacted family is Carrie Higgins and her 7-year-old daughter, who have lived in the Jervay Community for about 7 years.
“It’s frustrating,” said Higgins. " I have to figure out what am I going to do with all this food I just purchased for Thanksgiving, since I don’t have anywhere to store it."
All 100 residents received a letter on Monday notifying them that some units would need repairs requiring move-out, and the specific people would be notified in a separate letter. The letter also asked them to attend a community meeting on Tuesday where more information would be shared.
The community meeting is when the occupants of the 80 damaged units learned about the required move-out. The housing complex is not providing an alternate living space during this time, but FEMA, DSS, social workers, and EMS were on site helping people register and evaluate housing options.
WECT asked Banks if she believed ten days was enough time for people to move out. Here is how Banks replied:
“I don’t know, I’m hoping, but I can’t give you that information, because, as you know, housing in Wilmington now due to the storm is very scarce.”
According to Higgins, residents were given the option to store their belongings in storage unit pods on site while repairs are made, but residents cannot access their belongings in the pods until after the construction is complete.
“I have no choice but to put (my belongings) in a pod because I can’t afford a storage unit,” said Higgins. “So I guess we are going to just have to go without for 6 months.”