A nightmare situation has unfolded for dozens in Springfield after the heavy rains from Monday's storms forced about 100 people out of their apartment building on Belmont Avenue.
Western Mass News has learned the building’s flat roof and a clogged drain caused water to cascade throughout the building.
It doesn’t look like there is really any damage to 356 Belmont Avenue from last nights storm by looking at the outside, but inside, there are puddles of water from the top floor to the basement after a drain pipe burst during the height of heavy rains.
On Monday night, Tony Lozano was inside his apartment on Belmont Avenue watching television when he heard heavy rain.
"The next thing I know my toes kind of feel wet and I look back, I see the water coming from the light fixture in the kitchen," Lozano said.
Lozano told Western Mass News that he opened his door to the hallway and saw water pouring from the ceiling.
"Water was just all over the place and it was something out of a movie," Lozano explained. Springfield’s code enforcement said that the building’s flat roof, a clogged drain, and heavy rain overwhelmed a drain pipe that failed inside the building.
The building was condemned and on Tuesday, tenants scrambled to salvage their belongings.
"We are just taking the stuff out that has most valuable for us because we can't finish this in one day," Lozano added.
The Red Cross responded on Monday night to open cases for the residents who are being offered rooms at a Springfield hotel by the landlord of the property for the next two to three weeks. "Our current count, it's fluid 36 people have been displaced, but we don't know how many other people will be in the other 11 units we are looking for today,"
Lozano said that he and his wife have relied on friends to store the belongings and that he has had to miss time from work today to try and move forward:
"You wouldn't expect this to happen, so wish I had insurance. It would have been better for us, but it happens," Lozano said.
Again, the landlord of the property has offered rooms to the residents at a hotel in Springfield. The building is owned by an LLC called 356-364 Belmont with a Boston-based address.
We spoke to city and code enforcement officials this afternoon and the repair process is already underway. They said that an electrician has pulled permits to begin work inside the building to bring the electrical errors up to code.
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