More residents forced out of local apartments due to storm damage


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – Another apartment complex in the Wilmington area is forced to displace residents after damage from Hurricane Florence.

New Providence Park staff gave notice to residents in 5 buildings that the conditions in the units are not livable and that they have to move out.

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“Where are people going to put this stuff? Where are people going to go,” asked Charles Heggler.

There are more questions than answers for residents.

“At the end of the day we don’t want to put people in harm’s way and so it was a difficult decision to make but ultimately the right one for everyone’s safety and health,” said Molly McDonough.

McDonough is the Regional Director for Tribute Properties that oversees the apartments. Her staff found water and electrical damage in those five buildings around the complex. She said the damage is so severe they had very little of a choice but to pull the plug.

“They just put a note on the door,” said Heggler.

More than 100 people in these dozens of units now have to move out. Heggler’s mom is one of them.

“There are some people coming home from work seeing this without any notice. There are some people who haven’t even returned yet,” Heggler said.

We caught up with Heggler as he was buying moving boxes at Lowe’s. We agreed to not pry for comments by residents at the complex as McDonough asked. Many of them have to move out as much as a three bedroom apartment by Friday.

“Right now it’s just a frenzy to get stuff packed up and moved,” said Heggler. “There wasn’t much time for this it was kind of like, ‘hey get your stuff out'”

When they can come back remains uncertain.

“Getting them out of an unsafe environment is our first response,” said McDonough, “Time frames, I can’t speak to that there is significant damage.”

McDonough tells us FEMA did have personnel on site to aid in any way they could. She says, in the notice, the complex asked residents to contact the disaster relief agency as well as go to Hoggard High School’s shelter if the residents had no options.

“Pretty much people have to move their stuff into tomorrow and by the end of Friday,” Heggler said adding that, “That’s not a whole lot OF time for somebody to move their life.”

Tribute Properties has nearly a dozen complexes around the greater Wilmington area. They are responsible for projects like South Front. McDonough tells us the company is seeing if some of the residents can be paired to move to a sister complex. She says the company will try what they can to help, but for now it’s a matter of clearing out the units that were deemed unsafe.