WASHINGTON - Residents of a D.C. public housing building in Southeast D.C. are temporarily homeless after a strong and damaging storm ripped the roof right off the building Wednesday night.
“I was out on the balcony – it actually took me up in the air and broke the door, broke our balcony door,” said one resident. “I was up in the air and off the ground. As I came back down, I ran in the house. As I get in the house, my mother and them were screaming and the roof came off.”
Pieces of the roof as well as insulation and other debris still sat on the lawn in front of the building on K and 11th Streets on Thursday and crews were seen working throughout the day to repair the damage.
Because of the storm damage, around 50 people are unable to live in their apartments because the building is deemed unsafe. They have been placed in a hotel for the time being.
Some of the residents said the storm came out of nowhere and caught people off guard. Some were already in bed while others had to scramble to find their children playing outside at the time.
“I heard a heard a big boom and I looked back and the room was coming off, so I immediately jetted back to check on my kids and my family,” said Wayne Hall. “When I got back, it was just debris everywhere.”
“We just heard a noise we never heard before,” said Crystal Bullard. “It was more like a shaking and the building shook. I guess we were anticipating the impact. We didn’t know what it was, but we were anticipating the impact – and then ‘Boom!’ We just looked at each other and we were like, ‘What was that?’ Then we heard a whole lot of water coming in. We looked in the kitchen and water was just pouring in the kitchen. Then, we looked outside and saw the roof sitting out front.”
Residents said they were told by the District of Columbia Housing Authority that they would be escorted into the building to get some of their belongings and a meeting would be held to update them on the repairs.