OS Apartment Residents Want Answers - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/13/05

OS Apartment Residents Want Answers

Some Ocean Springs apartment residents want some answers about the future.

People living in "The Reserve" want to know if their storm damaged homes will be repaired or torn down.

Hurricane Katrina left behind plenty of destruction and uncertainty.

"It's all going to flood down," said Sheila Babin, as she points to a damaged apartment roof, while worrying about the next rain.

She wants to know why storm damaged apartment buildings haven't been covered with tarps. The Reserve took quite a beating from Katrina. But two weeks later, there's no sign of tarps or temporary repairs.

"They said they'll let us stay. But they're not doing anything to protect it. And on top of that, we need to know if they're going to condemn them. Because why stay and try to clean and fix if they're going to condemn them," said Babin.

"Smells bad in here. It's terrible," said Katie Fields, as she walked through her water damaged apartment.

She's leaving her mold and mildew stained apartment. She considers herself among the lucky ones. She has somewhere else to live.

"The management before the hurricane was really good. During the storm and after the storm it was nil to none. They were sporadically here off and on. I'm sure they had things to accomplish, but as for the residents, we haven't gotten straight answers and we don't know what's going on," she explained.

For some residents, there was no question about moving out, the storm blew their apartments to pieces. But there remains much concern and many questions about the future among those residents whose buildings sustained much less damage from the storm.

"I have no plans. I have no place to go. Just a ceiling is caving in. Mold is growing. The place doesn't have electricity. But we have to stay because we have no place to go," said Patti Brady.

Brady is among the soon-to-be displaced. As she sees the damage all around her, there are no hard feelings toward management. Many people were overwhelmed by the storm.

"Management has been pretty good to me. They haven't kicked us out. They keep telling me they will check and see if they can find an apartment for my grandson and I. They are trying. I feel they are trying. They haven't been mean to me or anything," she said.

Some residents will keep waiting for answers. Others who are able, will move elsewhere.

The apartment manager referred us to the ownership company in Jackson.

We talked by phone with Wayne Pierce of "Heritage Properties". He told WLOX News the company is working with its insurance company to secure the properties and place tarps over damaged roofs. He promised residents will see a "substantial difference" in the next 24 to 48 hours. He said buildings that can be repaired, will be.

By Steve Phillips

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