LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — It’s gone from bad to worse for tenants of the Piedmont Flour Mill Lofts in Lynchburg weeks after flooding forced them from their apartments.
WFXR News has told you about the flooding that happened there on July 11, forcing many of them out of their homes. As of this writing, they’re still out. Now, there seems to be a battle underway over who is responsible for that damage.
About a dozen tenants at the Piedmont Flour Lofts were displaced and many have been staying at a hotel for the past 17 days, all because of a clogged sewage pipe that led to two feet of standing water inside.
Now, residents wonder when their free hotel stays will end. Initially, English Construction was paying for those stays. However, after two weeks, it stopped and the building’s owners announced they will cover the costs until Aug. 1.
The mother of a tenant who’s a local student showed WFXR News’ Amanda Lee what was left of her loft. She wants to remain nameless, but says everyone affected is left with few options.
“There are people who have lost their whole entire lives. Not lives in the literal sense but everything they worked hard for,” said tenant Quyana Chamber. “Their belongings, their work items, their clothing, one neighbor lost his pets. All from the results of a pipe failure.”
Chamber lives there too and told WFXR News that the longer the water sits, the more concerned she is about mold. She’s also worried about having to find another place to stay once her hotel room is no longer covered.
“The rental market in Lynchburg, at this point in time, is terrible. Many of us have been displaced during a time where finding another place has been nearly impossible,” said Chamber.
Lynchburg Water Resources and NRM Associates, which owns the lofts, both say English Construction is responsible for the clogged pipe and the flooding.
According to NRM Associates Representative Mitchell Namrow, “English construction hired a company to work the pumps. They sub-contracted that out. They’re investigating to see why the pumps failed. Hopefully, they figure that out soon. But we cannot wait. The tenants need to be replaced and we need to repair those units.”
WFXR News reached out to English Construction, but has yet to receive a response.
NRM Associates says they are assessing the damage with their insurance company.
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