WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Some New Hanover County residents were told Wednesday that they have to be out of their apartments immediately.
New Providence Park sent a letter to its renters saying due to extensive damage from Hurricane Florence, "we must terminate your tenancy effective immediately."
Power was scheduled to be turned off Wednesday afternoon and residents in the five apartment buildings were told the decision to evict was authorized "under the natural disaster clause" in their leases.
"We do not take this step lightly, but it is necessary to ensure the safety of our residents and to begin the repair and remediation process immediately," the letter read.
A Tribute Properties representative said the health and safety of the tenants led to the decision and that the apartments had extensive roof and flood damage.
One man whose mother lives at New Providence said he understands the safety concerns, but wonders why tenants weren't given more assistance.
"It's a health issue and it's been condemned," Charles Hegler said. "Legally this is what the process is, but nobody getting help in a time of need like this, it makes you very angry."
The remediation process, which New Providence Park said would begin immediately, may include tearing out ceilings, walls, cabinets and carpet.
New Providence, located at 4413 Cohan Circle, is giving renters their full security deposit and the balance of their monthly rent paid prorated from Sept. 13 once they turn in their keys. Transfers to other units under New Providence's parent company, Tribute, are also being offered on a first-come, first-served basis with moving fees and deposits relating to the move waived. Relocation or temporary housing costs will not be covered, New Providence said in the letter.
When the complex is rebuilt, New Providence said residents will be welcomed back with no fees or security deposit required. The company gave no timetable for when renovation would be completed.
Around 350 residents and their pets were told to leave.
Hoggard High School is open as a shelter for those who can't find temporary housing.
Hegler said moving people out is only one part of the difficult process.
"My mother doesn't have anywhere to go right now," Hegler said. "Storage units, I guarantee you, are completely full right now. Where do they expect to put everybody's stuff at? They can't. There's people here that are wheelchair bound, elderly. There's people that haven't even returned yet from the storm and they're telling people they have to be out by Friday."
Read the letter sent to New Providence residents below: