Residents forced out of apartments after flooding - FOX 13 News

Residents forced out of apartments after flooding

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Two days after rain poured through a roof, more than a dozen families are still without their homes.

Selena Johnson says she is still cleaning up after the weekend storm flooded the Lakeview Apartments building.

The mother of two says she was sleeping when she heard the rain Saturday morning. The water soaked through the carpet, ceiling and walls.

"All my clothes in here is wet. I don't even have no clothes. My jacket, if you feel it...wet," says Johnson. "It smells like a dead animal in there, a whole bunch of bodies."

Johnson is one of nearly 40 tenants displaced. Next door, pieces of ceiling chipped and scattered like confetti in a neighbor's apartment.

"Her bed is damaged, water, everything, her pictures got broke," Johnson says.

The building's owners say they recently purchased the property and closed two days before the storm. One of the owners, Aurelijus Baltusis, says he knew the roof had been an ongoing problem and already had a contractor begin working on it.

Baltusis says it's hard to say without getting onto the roof if the recent work made the leak temporarily worse, but guessed that might be what's at fault.

He says repairs could take days or weeks to complete.

"Just to get to the concrete base of the foundation is going to take about three days," says Baltusis. "I promise whatever I can do in my power to get this building up and running. I got to do one day at a time, one unit at a time."

The city paid for tenants to spend two nights in a hotel. Johnson says her biggest concern is where she and her two children, ages 3 and 11, will sleep tonight.

"My kids ain't even got no clothes. Where's our clothes? Shoes? Damaged," says Johnson. "I'm mad."

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