NORTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Monday morning’s heavy rains may have slowed your commute to work, but for tenants in one apartment building, it caused bigger problems. They were forced to evacuate during the downpour when their units and hallways started leaking.
It was around 7:30 a.m. when water started flooding into the Hampton Court Apartments. It’s an issue, fire officials said, came from the top down, but as of this afternoon, residents were able to get back into their units.
“It started with the fire alarms going off,” said Joseph Vieu.
Monday morning at the Hampton Court Apartments began in a way that was anything but pleasant.
“One of the residents called from the fifth floor stating that there was water coming in through the ceiling. When our crews got here, they found a blocked roof drain,” said Northampton Fire Chief Jon Davine.
Davine said that water sitting on the roof wasn’t just sitting there for long.
“Instead of going down the drain, it was actually was going down through the building, through the center of the building,” Davine explained.
Tenants of the apartment had to quickly gather their belonging and animals.
“He’s got to stay above 90 degrees and there’s no way to keep him 90 degrees when it’s a cold day out…We have no electricity and there’s water all over the place inside,” Vieu added.
Unsure of how long they’d be without a roof over their heads, residents took refuge at the city’s senior center.
Western Mass News reached out to the company that runs Hampton Court. Over the phone, Richard Henken, president of the the Schochet Group, told us residents should have been able to get back by the end of Monday afternoon.
“None of the units were damaged relative to habitability, but we’ve got to make sure the fire safety systems work and that’s where the water caused damage,” Henken said.
Henken said this has never happened before and he is looking to lower the chance of it happening again.
“We will get on the roof and we will clean up the mess and we will make sure we put procedures in place and systems in place so that it won’t happen again except for you know another just act of God,” Henken said.
If there was damage to tenants’ larger belongings like furniture, Henken said that should be covered under a renters insurance policy.
It’s certainly not how anyone wants to end or begin their workday.
“I just want a cup of coffee,” said Justice Harding.