TEMPLE HILLS, Md. - Access has been restricted to a derelict condominium community in Prince George's County where an order to move out was put into effect at noon on Wednesday.
FOX 5's Anjali Hemphill reported that a fencing company had arrived around 9 a.m. on Tuesday to close off the Lynnhill Condominium property.
Former residents with valid identification and proof of residency will be allowed back on property over the next several days - from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. to retrieve their belongings.
On Tuesday, officials told residents of the condominiums that they had until noon on Wednesday to vacate the complex after it was determined the buildings were unsafe.
FOX 5 was inside of the buildings on Tuesday and found disgusting conditions including gaping holes in the ceiling, standing water, piles of trash, an abandoned toilet and a strong odor in hallways. Residents also complained of mice, rats and flies.
Fire officials said there were about 100 people living at Lynnhill Condominiums, but most of the units were abandoned and squatters were an issue.
The troubled was first reported last year when the majority of residents left after utilities were shut off because the management failed to pay $1 million in bills. While the state ordered utilities to be turned back on at that time, a Pepco spokesman said the Maryland Public Service Commission authorized gas and electric to be shut off for good.
With conditions so bad, many in the complex stopped paying rent and complained of rampant violence.
Fire officials said the conditions were too dangerous and had no other choice than to order them to leave. "Those who are not out by noon, the county will seek a court order to have them removed,” Prince George' County Fire Chief Ben Barksdale announced.
The Community of Hope AME located at the Iverson Mall Shopping Center in Temple Hill said it would attempt to help as many residents as possible find new permanent living situations.