ENGLEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Some in New Jersey have been living in limbo more than three months since the remnants of Hurricane Ida socked the area.
The powerful storm forced an apartment building in the northern part of the state to be evacuated and on Monday residents said there are still more questions than answers, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported.READ MORE: Referendum To Spend Over $20 Million On Repairs For Cresskill School Expected To Pass
Mold grows on mannequins on the ground floor of 53 W. Palisade Ave. in Englewood. The nearly 40 rental apartments above sit vacant, and water is still being pumped out of the underground garage, which was flooded with 12 feet of water during Ida back in September.
Ron Oliver said that night his wife made the life-saving move to take the stairs, instead of the elevator, to see what was going on.
“Those doors would have opened up and all the water would have flooded her,” Oliver said.
Dozens of cars were totaled and Ron Simoncini, a representative for the building owner, Glenwood Management, said one got caught in a drainage culvert.
“Just like a bathtub when the drain is clogged,” Simoncini said. “It also affected our electrical panels, and our elevator and our heating and ventilation system. All those systems were ruined.”
The city issued a vacate order immediately for the building.
“We grabbed a couple of backpacks, filled them with a few days worth of stuff,” Oliver said.READ MORE: New Yorkers Face Tuesday Deadline To Apply For Ida Relief; New Jersey Has Until Wednesday
Months later, Oliver’s family is sleeping on air mattresses and have no furniture because they haven’t been allowed back in, and it isn’t clear if they ever will be.
“We’d ask building questions and building would tell us to go to the city and ask them and then the city would turn around and just tell us that it’s up to the building,” Oliver said.
“There has been no attempt to fix the building, remediate any of the things that would allow us to get back quickly,” tenant Andrew Dolgin added.
Management said it’s waiting on an engineering report before submitting a plan to the city. Some tenants said the garage flooded before, and the situation could have been prevented.
“If the city has any obligation that will come out if the ownership should have done something different in the construction,” Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes said.
Some of the tenants said they are still waiting to see if the Federal Emergency Management Agency will reimburse them for anything.
However, renter’s insurance is not covering the flood. Some have now retained an attorney.MORE NEWS: Temporary Electricity Finally Installed At Port Chester Restaurant 3 Months After Ida Damage
A representative for the building believes residents will eventually be allowed to return, but it will take at least six months.