Homeowners, tenants face burden of storm damage clean-up

Melting snow and ice are causing problems around homes and apartments.
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Hoosiers continue to rebound from the winter storm, but not just from road and vehicle issues.

The impact of the storm is being felt around homes. Hunter Curtis just moved into The Avenue Apartments in downtown Indianapolis last week.

"It's like a tornado in here," Curtis said.

His place isn't peaceful.

"How do you sleep with seven fans on, how do you watch tv with a half fridge in your living room, how do you study and read your text books," Curtis said.

Those things are all necessary to dry out the entire first floor of one of the buildings at The Avenue apartments after a pipe in the sprinkler system burst.

"Water was just pouring down from the light fixtures to the ceilings and the wall had caved out," Curtis said as he describes his cell phone video.

New management just took over The Avenue nearly two week ago. They're trying to figure out what exactly went wrong inside the relatively new building.

"Some air got into a trapped space and apparently iced up and it burst," said Michael Hanley, Senior Vice President with Campus Advantage, the building's owner.

It couldn't come at a worse time for tenants like Curtis.

"I had just gotten everything put away," he laughed.

He moved from a small town near Richmond to transfer to IUPUI. Classes start Monday, adding to his worries.

"I'm nervous beyond belief," Curtis said.

Carpet is being ripped up inside the halls of the building. Concrete is beneath that, helping ease the clean-up of the flooring. About two to three feet of the walls will likely have to be replaced in the halls and in many of the 14 damaged apartments.

"The main thing is getting it dried out and then we begin the reconstruct process after that," said Chris Carson with Carson Restoration.

Others are experiencing problems outside of their homes, like Carol Counsell.

"It's leaning and the ground has shifted," she said about a tree in the backyard of her north side home.

Friday, it looked worse so she called Treeo for help.

"I pray every night that God will keep that tree up right until they can take it down," she laughed.

One of her pine trees fell during the storm, with another one on its way. It caps off a bumpy weekend for her family.

"Our electricity went out Sunday night so we grabbed our neighbor and went to a hotel and then we came home and saw the tree down," she said.

She then lost power again and went to a hotel Tuesday night, but through it all has kept her optimism.

"You know I take things in stride a lot worse things can happen we're all alive," Counsell said.

Treeo removed her tree Friday afternoon.

As for impacted residents at The Avenue, management is putting them up in a hotel until things get back to normal.