Loft apartments flooded Sunday in Lynchburg; officials looking at the cause

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Cleanup crews were out in full force Monday at Piedmont Flour Mill Lofts, just one day after water unexpectedly rushed into the building due to flooding.

In the words of resident Clayton Dykstra, “Just a freak thing. I don’t know, I was pretty shocked.”

Another resident, Brooke Boyd said, “The sewage pipe out back actually ended up getting clogged essentially and it busted through the bottom windows of these bottom apartments… And I mean about four feet of water came in.”

Dykstra shared a video that he recorded, which shows some of the flood damage to one of the units. Officials say about a dozen residents in all were impacted. Some even lost pets as a result of the flooding.

“There was a tenant that had many snakes and fish, reptiles, and they said like four of them out of 20 survived,” Boyd said.

The loft building sits in one of the lowest parts of Lynchburg, not too far from the city’s wastewater facility.

Residents say they are used to seeing standing water in the area, but not as much as they saw on Sunday, July 11.

According to Lynchburg Water Resources Public Information Officer Jerry Griffin, Jr., “I was definitely kind of awestruck that this type of thing happens.”

Griffin says the department is looking into the exact cause of the flooding. Some residents suspect it has to do with a possible machine malfunction connected to a construction aimed at expanding the city’s overflow pipes. The project, which is expected to be completed by the end of August or beginning of September, is happening directly behind Piedmont Flour Mill Lofts.

“We don’t know if it was just the pumps. We have no idea,” Griffin said.

While workers continue to assess the damage, those who live in the building say they are just glad no one was hurt.

“It’s good. Everybody’s okay,” Boyd said.

“Everyone’s going to get through it,” said Dykstra.

Griffin told WFXR News the flood damage was contained to the first floor of the building and those tenants have been put up in hotels. He added, they will work to make sure they do not have to rely on their insurance policies. Griffin reiterated the flood was an accident, but they are dedicated to discovering the cause and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

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