Heavy rains on Tuesday morning caused the apartments at a senior facility at 838 W. Knoll Drive in West Hollywood to flood for a second time this year. More than 150 residents were evacuated from 135 units, along with several dogs and cats and one bird.
Firefighters and paramedics were called to the apartment building at 4:15 a.m. in response to reports of flooding. Upon arriving, they found water coming through the roof, and through light and electrical fixtures on the second and third floors. Southern California Edison deemed the apartment complex hazardous at 6 a.m., and evacuated all occupants.
Los Angeles County firefighter Humberto Agurcia said six occupants were transported to the hospital for various injuries and complaints. The remaining tenants were transported by metro bus to the West Hollywood Community Center, and it is undetermined how long they will remain in the evacuation center. The pets were transported to a nearby shelter where they will stay for up to two weeks. All occupants were evacuated by 10:50 a.m.
Los Angeles County Fire Department Battalion 1 Chief Arthur Ellis said the building had extensive damage inside.
“It was hectic when we arrived, people didn’t know what was going on and were frustrated by the fact that they had to leave their homes. We were able to gather everyone with the help of Red Cross, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, City of West Hollywood and [Southern California Edison],” Ellis said.
The roof of the three-story building, owned by Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles, was under repair from previous flooding in July and was covered by a plastic tarp. The flooding in July was due to unrelated construction on the roof, where solar panels were being installed, which was also covered by a plastic tarp.
Violet Hill, a resident in the facility, was out of town for the flooding in July, but woke up early on Tuesday to find the building was leaking.
“We just moved back in on Sept. 4, and everyone was so excited,” Hill said. “I have lived here for nine years and have never had a problem before this July.”
Ellis said he expects the Los Angeles County Department of Building and Safety will make an assessment of the property within the next few days.
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