“It’s so disheartening”: Southeast DC townhomes crumbling causing residents to evacuate

Homeowners at the River East at Grandview in Anacostia say their homes are deteriorating.

In view of the tragedy in surfside, Florida, many are fearful of a building collapse as they witness the entire structure falling apart. All 46 units have to evacuate by Monday, Aug. 30, but some have no place to go. An inspection was done on Wednesday, Aug. 11 through Friday, Aug. 13 by the Falcon Group, an engineering company based our of Rockville, Md., and the results reveal the structure is dangerous.

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Davina Callahan bought her place back in 2017 and says the damage is progressively getting worse.

"Our home is beginning to fall right before us. Some of us are even unable to live in our home. We have three level units, some people are only able to live in one part of the three levels because the ceiling is leaking or because of the mold," she says.

According to the structural building assessment, there is a break in the building’s main sewer line creating a bad-smelling odor and causing toilets to overflow.

FOX 5 took a look inside and there are visible cracks all over in the foundation, on the walls, and in the floors. One building is even splitting down the middle causing the bricks to separate.

One mother who asked FOX 5 to protect her identity says her kids start school on Monday and she has no idea how to explain that they might not have a roof over their head.

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"As a parent, I pride myself on giving my child stability and having him in an environment that creates peace, and not having a place to come back home to is unacceptable. It’s just not enough and it’s so disheartening because no one seems to care," she said.

The senior engineer of the Falcon Group who conducted the investigation says they are "working to develop a temporary external bracing design to provide support to the retaining wall systems and/or building foundation systems."

"I don’t feel safe because I think the structural issues are putting us at risk, but to no fault of our own," the mother continued to say. "Nobody has explained accountability nor have we been even issued a formal apology from some of the agencies that probably signed off or had an affiliation with approving this project to begin with."

FOX 5 reached out to DC officials to find out how they plan to assist these residents and did not hear back in time for the newscast. The people who live in the townhomes say they are expecting 5 to 7-thousand dollars to help them relocate, but we are waiting to confirm that information.