Residents still finding their footing one year after flooding destroyed senior apartment complex

CHARLOTTE — Christmas Day marked one year since a burst pipe forced dozens of senior citizens from their homes at Magnolia Senior Apartments.

Channel 9′s Jonathan Lowe spoke with some of the residents who are still moving back into the complex.

They described what they went through last year as nothing short of traumatic. Some even believe the stress of the situation contributed to the deaths of two of the residents.

Last Christmas, 84 senior citizens living at the Magnolia Senior Apartments on Beatties Ford Road were uprooted from their homes after pipes burst due to a frigid stretch of sub-zero temperatures.

Numerous units were flooded, destroying much, if not all, of the belongings inside them.

Janette Kinard, founder of the non-profit Champion House of Care, was one of several community leaders who have stuck by the seniors during these trying times.

“This year has been a trying year, not knowing where they’re going to stay,” Kinard said.

Kinard said the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and grassroots groups were all part of the effort to support the displaced seniors.

“We took them back and forth to their doctors, moved them from hotel to hotel, and went to a couple of funerals, of course,” Kinard explained.

Following extensive repairs, residents started moving back in over the summer. But even at year’s end, some continue to start fresh.

“Somebody’s moving in today, so there are still six units empty,” Kinard said.

After what it took for life to return to normal at the apartment complex, Kinard hopes management has learned a lesson.

“I would hope they learned a whole lot, like really checking over buildings to make sure what’s going on with these pipes,” Kinard explained.

VIDEO: Senior residents displaced from apartments after major water leak on Christmas Day

Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.