KENT, Wash. - The cold snap has taken a devastating toll at a Kent apartment complex, where up to 50 residents may have to leave their apartments.
Some residents are just packing up and getting out after three days of cold and uncertainty at the Avante apartments in Kent. In one unit, a bedroom ceiling collapsed Thursday. A few doors down, ceiling panels fell in wet clumps onto the kitchen counter and floor.
“It’s just wet. All wet”, says resident Kiah Brown, who is worried her ceilings could cave in at any moment. Since water’s been dripping from above for several days, she and her daughter have been living out of her car.
“I’m a single parent of an 8-year-old and I don’t have anywhere to go. Christmas is next week,” says Brown.
Nearly 50 units at the sprawling complex have sustained water damage. Burst pipes are to blame - almost a hundred of them in the complex’s roofs. Cold temperatures cause the water to freeze, expand and split the water lines.
“The problem is, they keep breaking and breaking. Every time we fix them more break," said manager Margie Reed.
Still, some residents say management hasn’t acted quickly enough to stop the damage.
“I have four plumbers working,” says Reed. She says apartment management has been paying for hotel rooms for evacuated tenants, but some tenants say they were unaware of such an offer.