Local News

Renters claim they were never told complex was in flood zone

Posted June 17, 2009 6:01 p.m. EDT
Updated June 17, 2009 8:57 p.m. EDT

— The City of Raleigh is taking action on behalf of apartment dwellers flooded out of their homes by Tuesday’s downpour.

It is not the first time residents at Brookhill Townhouse Apartments have had flooding-related losses.

The city plans to draft a letter of interest to the state Division of Emergency Management for a grant to address the claims, Stormwater Utility Manager Danny Bowden said Wednesday.

The apartments, located at 5425 Dana Drive, were among the areas that flooded on Tuesday after heavy rains caused two nearby creeks to overflow.

If the grant is approved, the money could be used as a potential buyout for the structure or used to pay for the structures to be elevated above the flood plain, Bowden said. Officials are hoping to send the letter by next week.

Brookhill Apartments were built in 1967 – 10 years before the city flood maps were produced. The property owner did not take a buyout, later offered by the Federal Emergency Management.

Officials said the apartments also flooded in 2006.

Current renters say they were never told their homes were in a flood zone.

Renter Jason Kim is unsure if his renters' insurance will cover the damage to his apartment. Water rushed through his living room, ruining his carpet and his belongings.

Kim said if he had been told he would be living on a flood plain, it would have impacted his decision to rent the apartment.

Neighbor Brandon Greene said the apartment complex requires tenants to get renters insurance, but did not mention flood insurance. “That would’ve been something we should’ve known at the front, but we were not told,” he said.

Brookhill’s regional manager Dennis Smith has not returned phone calls for comment.

City officials told WRAL News that they were unaware of any city or state law requiring landlords to tell renters if the property is located in a flood zone.