3 to 4 feet of water invades senior citizens complex in South Akron, forces residents from homes

AKRON, Ohio - For property manager Anna Eby, Wednesday's fierce storms posed quite a dilemma.

There was a tornado warning and flood waters were filling up the at the apartment complex for seniors. She wasn't sure if she should move residents to the first or second floor.

"When I was speaking to the lady on 911, I asked her, 'What do you want me to do?' She said, 'Could you hold on please?' and she put me on hold," Eby said.

The water damage was significant at the Villa at Marion Park in South Akron. At times, the water was three to four feet deep in the sitting room, community room, laundry room and hallways.

"Worst I've ever seen and the tenants were scared," Eby said.

Fifteen of the 18 apartments on the first floor sustained water damage to the carpets and walls. While repairs are made, residents must find another place to live for at least another week, possibly longer.

Margaret Hoff, 78, has one lung and lives with a rare medical condition, Aspergillus mold, which means she has a fungus in her lung. The unsanitary conditions caused by the flooding complicate her breathing.

"The mold has to be gone because I cannot tolerate it," Hoff said.

Management is working with her and several other residents to find housing.

"I'm waiting to see what they're going to do with us because I have actually nowhere that I can go and stay," Hoff said.

Crews from 911 Restoration spent the day using wet vacuums and fans to dry out the moisture in the complex.

The owner of the company, Gary Blakeney, used an infrared camera to detect water in the walls.

Carpets throughout the first floor and many of the walls will need to be torn out and replaced.

"We'll probably be at this job for a week," Blakeney said.

He explained that the sewer systems couldn't handle the three to four inches of rain that fell in a short amount of time.

His crews were already busy with all of the rainfall prior to Wednesday's deluge.

"We've been working, honestly, the last six weeks since the rain has been going on. We've done over 80 water damages," he said.

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