Raleigh to again seek to buy flood-prone complex
Posted July 19
Raleigh, N.C. — City officials have failed twice in their attempts to buy a flood-prone apartment complex in southwest Raleigh, but after major flooding over the weekend, they plan to try again.
Heavy rains Saturday night sent up to 4 feet of water from nearby Walnut Creek cascading through dozens of units in the Brook Hill Townhouse Apartments complex Dana Drive.
Brook Hill manager Susan Davis said the management company, General Services Corp., is working to find new apartments for 24 families affected by the high water, which she said is the worst she's ever seen at the complex.
Some of the residents did have flood insurance, but many lost everything, including their cars.
Zac Koraich said his aunt and uncle had 3 feet of water in their apartment, which they rented only a month ago. The water flipped over the refrigerator and washer while his aunt fled upstairs with her baby.
The complex's history of flooding was never mentioned before his aunt and uncle, immigrants from Morocco, rented the apartment, Koraich said.
"They should tell the person. If you're going to sign a lease for a year, you should know what's going to happen in that year," he said. "It's a danger zone. It's not safe to live in here if, every year, you're going to expect a flood."
Davis said renters are given sufficient warning about flooding, noting they receive flood insurance pamphlets with their leases.
"There are signs posted from the city of Raleigh that state that this area is subject to flooding," she added.
A WRAL News crew found only one such sign, which was next to a parking lot across the street from Brook Hill.
"If the property owners were willing to work with the city, allow the city to buy that property out using the hazard mitigation grant funding, all of the residents in that area would be relocated," Raleigh stormwater manager Blair Hinkle said.
There's nothing more the city can do if the owners continue to refuse to sell the property, Hinkle said.