Water floods building, forces apartment residents to evacuate

Repairs expected to be completed by Thursday

By Jennifer Ortega - Reporter

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Residents of the Mission Club Apartments were forced to evacuate after what was initially thought to be a water main break Wednesday afternoon.

People came home to soggy carpet, damaged furniture and water running down the hallways.

"If you're standing on the third floor, you can see the water gushing at the bus stop," said Nykia Burdine, who lives in the building.

"It's very shocking because I saw water coming in from the back of the building," said another neighbor.

The water spewed for hours just outside the complex, eventually flooding a nearby building.

Officials said Orange County Utilities isolated what was initially thought to be a water main break and determined it was a 24-inch reclaimed water pipe that burst.

While not for consumption, reclaimed water is the same water that is used for irrigation of lawns and has been treated and chlorinated to high levels of disinfection standards to ensure safe use in publicly accessible areas, according to Orange County Utilities.

Officials said one building with 20 units had to be evacuated.

Residents were putting sandbags in front of their doors to keep the water out.

Burdine, who lives on the third floor, is OK. But her neighbors weren't so lucky.

"That kills me inside because all of their things are going to be destroyed," Burdine said. "They're not going to be able to go home for a while."

Officials with Orange County Utilities said repairs were completed Thursday afternoon and the sidewalk and road were fully reopened by 5 p.m.

Residents said the complex is relocating some of them to empty apartments.

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