Roof collapse at Daytona Beach apartment complex displaces 120
Heavy rains damage roof at Overlook Apartments
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The roof of a Daytona Beach apartment building collapsed late Thanksgiving night, causing flooding on every floor of the six-story structure and displaced about 120 residents, officials said.
No one was injured in the incident, which occurred around midnight at the Overlook Apartments near Seabreeze Boulevard and North Halifax Avenue.
"I stepped outside and I could hear the water just pouring through the stairwell. It was like Niagara Falls," resident Gabriel Dorman said.
Resident Matthew Gaal gave News 6 video from inside the building that showed water dripping from the stairs and people walking through inches of water.
"The rain came in down all the way from the sixth floor, all the way to the bottom, to the office," Gaal said.
Many residents tried saving their belongings by sweeping the water out into the hallways.
The roof of the south tower of the apartments sustained structural damage due to heavy rains on Thursday, and the roof failed, Daytona Beach fire officials said.
Firefighters evacuated the building, which left about 120 residents without a home, according to authorities.
Residents told News 6 the apartment management company has been in the process of repairing the roof. They think that may have caused the collapse.
"They started at the ends, and apparently there was a vacant unit that was right in the middle and they said the water had just collected on the roof, like a pool, a swimming pool, and as soon as that caved in, they said all the water came rushing down," Dorman said.
The Red Cross opened a shelter at First Baptist Church in Daytona Beach to assist residents. Shelter officials say about 15 residents were staying at the shelter, but add that the number could rise depending on if more people need help.
Shelter officials say they will provide food and a safe place to sleep for as long as it takes.
"It's really going to depend on how quickly we can get the damage assessment done at the apartment complex, and then basing it on that to see what the need is, and we'll be here of course as long as we're needed," Rebecca DeLorenzo, with the American Red Cross, said.
Residents have been able to return to the building. News 6 saw cleaning crews with pumps getting the last of the flooding water out.
[BELOW: Drone video shows rooftop | Resident records cellphone video]
News 6 went into the leasing office to speak to the management company. Apartment officials told us they would be releasing a statement. News 6 also called and emailed the management company, but we have not heard back from them yet.
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