After storm rips roof of Petersburg apartment building, residents left without homes

Posted at 4:22 PM, Sep 27, 2022

PETERSBURG, Va. -- Nearly two dozen people are without a home after a strong storm caused roof damage at a Petersburg apartment complex Sunday evening.

The storm ripped off part of the roof at the Petersburg Artist Space Lofts on Perry Street and several units were flooded with water.

On Monday evening, debris could still be seen strewn about the property both inside and outside. Brittany Ellmore, whose fourth-floor apartment was heavily damaged, told CBS 6 that she was feeling sad and unsure in the wake of what happened.

"I love my apartment. I love this building. I kind of feel like I may have to leave for good," Ellmore said.

Ellmore also said she was unhappy with the response from the building's owner, SL Nusbaum Realty Company.

"The response was just poor. The response from the property managers, everything's just poor. I still have yet to receive an email, call, or voicemail from anyone who manages this property," Ellmore said.

When asked what she would have liked to see happen, Ellmore said that she was hoping for more feedback from the property's manager.

"I would want you to care and at least inquire about our well-being before you talk to insurance and contractors and, you know, figure out you know, how you're going to fix your building, at least, you know, have some concern for your tenants," Ellmore said.

On Monday evening, Petersburg City Councilman W. Howard Myers was at the apartment complex assisting residents. At their request, Myers notified the Red Cross and several workers helped residents who had been displaced. One resident said that she was grateful for the help from Myers.

"We really appreciate him, you know, coming through and actually taking the time to listen, because, you know, that's what we needed someone to hear us out," said Tamera Tazewell.

CBS6 reached out to Henrico-based SL Nusbaum Realty Company Monday evening but was not able to reach anyone after hours. However, on Tuesday, Steve Boyce, a senior vice president with the company said that 21 residents are staying with family and friends, 14 were ultimately assisted by the Red Cross and there were a few residents they were not able to contact and ascertain their situation.

In response to claims of poor communication and assistance, Boyce issued the following statement:

Management is deeply concerned with the health and welfare of the residents of ArtistSpace Lofts, especially in response to the damage from Sunday's storm. We have worked diligently to assist those displaced as result of the storm's damage to their apartments. This includes management's extensive efforts to coordinate assistance through the American Red Cross for the three households who we have confirmed do not have alternate living arrangements.

With regards to building repairs, we have engaged contractors to begin repairs. We hope to receive a target date for completion very soon. In the meantime, everyone is working hard to get residents back in their apartments as soon as possible.

While Boyce could not offer a specific timeline for repairs just yet, he did confirm that rent would be adjusted for tenants who have been displaced. The building remains open as there are 226 units in total and the majority did not sustain any damage and were deemed safe by officials.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email to send a tip.



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