Tree crashes through apartments; renters may be forced out of homes for months

Local News

At least a dozen people are forced out of their homes after a large tree crashed through their apartment building Tuesday.

Huntsville city officials condemned units at Garden Place Apartments and it could be months before the people who live there can get back in.

“It fell really hard on top of the roof. All we heard was cracking,” said Chasity Haggard, who lives in the building across from the one hit.

The tree split the roof in two. As a result the city had to condemn 11 units. Haggard’s boyfriend lived in one. She watched the tree fall from the other building.

“It’s very sad,” she said.

Renters could be out of a home for two months. City officials say the owner has 60 days to fix the building.

“Whenever you get displaced from your home it’s gonna be a disheartening situation,” said Annette Rowland with American Red Cross Alabama. “Even if you haven’t lost everything you’ve still lost the place that you call home.”

Eliminating the fear of what comes next is the mission Red Cross workers stepped in to achieve.

“Our primary purpose is to make sure that they feel comforted and that they have care and know everything’s gonna be okay,” Rowland said. “Sometimes it’s as simple as a hug. But we’re just gonna make sure and take care of their needs so they don’t have to fear what comes next.”

Several people tell WZDX News they’ve found family or friends to stay with, but the stress isn’t over. One thing they won’t have to worry about is Red Cross having their backs.

“We’re not gonna leave that person out to dry,” Rowland said. “We’re gonna continue to talk with that person and continue to work with our community partners and organizations to make sure that they have a place to lay their head.”

“Just hope they get it fixed and we don’t have to worry about this anymore,” said Haggard.

How hard the tree fell is what worries Huntsville city officials. They say it could mean structural damage.

Around 20 units were affected but half of them were deemed unsafe to live in.

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