NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - The weekend's storms caused extreme flooding at Newport News apartment complexes causing evacuations.
Residents of Great Oak Apartments lined up Monday afternoon to gather belongings they could salvage out of some homes that were deemed condemned.
"We're thinking everything is probably damaged, everything is probably destroyed," a woman named Lia who did not want to give her last name told WAVY.com
Lia's main concern was her elderly mother who she says was left outside Saturday morning. The Great Oak Apartments are owned by the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority.
"They were in the rain they had no buses here for the seniors," Lia said.
The buses eventually came and most folks were brought to a shelter at Warwick High School. Newport News City Manager Neil Morgan stopped by the shelter Monday for an update.
"We're not going to close until there's a plan for everybody who doesn't have a place to go," said Morgan.
Of the 140 plus units at Great Oak Apartments, NNRHA says approximately 25 units were not damaged. The vast majority were soaked.
"According to our pump station, parts of Newport News had 12 inches of rain in three hours Saturday morning," Morgan said.
With power still out Monday afternoon, Great Oak Apartments remained condemned. NNRHA officials said inspectors wanted to make sure they checked each outlet before switching the power on so as not to cause a short.
Lia's mother had renter's insurance in the past but had just dropped it.
At privately-owned City Line Apartments, many residents were also forced to evacuate due to flooding. In three years as a resident, Myrtle Hensley said Saturday's rain event was memorable.
"I've never had it as bad as it is now because it was [almost] up to my kneecaps," Hensley said.
Hensley took what she could and got out only to return and find what she had left behind in the apartment she would have to throw out.
"The whole apartment is just destroyed," Hensley said. "Water is everywhere, all my furniture is gone."
Residents were allowed into complex Monday afternoon. The power was turned back on but a city spokesperson said residents would not be allowed to move back in until each unit was inspected.
Morgan said vehicle damage was the primary type of damage following this weekend's event.
"The one rule in weather emergencies is they're always different from the last one and you should never be surprised about being surprised," Morgan said.
The Warwick High School shelter closed at 5 p.m. Monday, but Morgan said arrangements were made for anyone still needing a place to stay.
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