Heavy rain causes roof collapse at Florence apartments, 42 evacuated

Heavy rain causes roof collapse at Florence apartments, 42 evacuated

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Forty-two people had to be evacuated from a Florence apartment complex after heavy rains caused the roofs of nine units to collapse, an official with Florence County Emergency Management confirmed.

Sterling Apartments, located at 1100 S. Mayfair Terrace, was evacuated after the roofs of nine units collapse just after 12 p.m. Monday, said FCEMD public information officer Levi James. A total of 16 units were evacuated, displacing 42 people.

The evacuated residents are sheltering at the Highland Park United Methodist Church until 5 p.m., where the American Red Cross is on location to assist. The residents will then be transferred to a long-term shelter.

James said that the roofs of several buildings had to repaired from damage that occurred during Hurricane Matthew last October, but the roofs were still in the process of being repaired when a storm brought heavy rain to Florence Monday.

One woman said portions of the ceiling fell on her two grandchildren while they were watching television.

Brian Calverly said his mother had just moved into one of the apartment units. Now, she's displaced.

Calverly said the roof crashed through the living room, and now water, dirt, and debris cover the floor of her home. He added his mother evacuated when management at the apartment first made the announcement.

"Her whole roof in the front room in the living room is messed up," Calverly said. "It's all the way down, got all kind of water, debris, holes, sheetrock, mold."

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