Manayunk flooding victim given five days to move out of apartment with missing floor, walls

Natasha Martinez says she returned to her flood-ravaged home at Apex Manayunk to find the floor and walls missing.

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ByJaclyn Lee via WPVI logo
Monday, September 20, 2021
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"I was really shocked and that they didn't have any kind of sympathy for the situation of us being in an actual disaster," said Natasha Martinez who suffered flooding damage in Manayunk.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Natasha Martinez stood in the middle of her apartment in Philadelphia's Manayunk neighborhood realizing it was ripped down to the studs, missing walls and a floor.

Her apartment complex, Apex Manayunk, was damaged by the historic flooding after the remnants of Hurricane Ida tore through the region earlier this month.

While she and her family had been temporarily displaced, Natasha thought they would eventually be able to return home. That is until Apex Manayunk management sent her a letter on September 15 telling her that the repairs are "too substantial to allow (her) to occupy the premises during the repairs," and she needed to move out within five days by September 20.

"I was really shocked and that they didn't have any kind of sympathy for the situation of us being in an actual disaster," said Martinez. "I'm a single mom of four kids, and to give me five days, to say you have to be out in five days, it was just really disheartening and very frustrating."

SEE ALSO: Manayunk floodwaters engulf vehicles, shut down Main Street to traffic

According to the letter, the apartment complex will "have to perform substantial work on the unit and take steps necessary to prevent any permanent moisture damage to the unit."

Martinez hadn't been in her apartment since it flooded. She returned after she received the letter and discovered the walls and even the floor were missing. She asked one of the contractors to place pieces of wood down so she wouldn't have to scale the several-inch-wide beams. She estimates the drop to be about 10 feet.

"You can see it's just dangerous," said Martinez. "There's no way we can move things out in these conditions, and to have to do it in five days is just unreasonable."

Apex Manayunk management said it is waiving the lease break and notice fees, refunding the security deposit and reimbursing for moving expenses up to $500.

"At the end of the day, you have to be humane," said Wesley Gadsden, Natasha's brother. "You have to treat people like people. This right here, expecting people to move out of their home after a natural disaster and move through these unsafe conditions, is a clear picture of the dynamic between a lot of these big developers and the way that people in these communities are being treated. It's ridiculous."

Action News spoke with an employee at Apex Manayunk who declined to comment. We also reached out multiple times to the apartment building's corporate offices, JRK Residential Group, for comment but we have not heard back.