Residents of Machuca Apartments See Damage After Ceilings Collapse


POSTED: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 4:40pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 - 7:54pm

We're hearing that more apartments in the Machuca complex have sustained severe damage after several ceilings collapsed during Sunday night's heavy rainfall. As of Tuesday, an estimated 19 apartments have damage.

We spoke with one woman not only distraught because all her belongings are lost, but also because she doesn't know where her family is going to live.

Silvia Hernandez has lived in her apartment for 6 years - or at least what used to be her apartment.

Look around her home, and there's nothing but rubble, and an overwhelming smell of bird droppings from the collapsed ceiling

"You can see over there you can see outside,"

During the storm, Hernandez was mopping up some of the rain that had leaked in and moved away just in time.

"This piece came down, exactly where I moved from here," she said.

Everything is ruined: her bedroom, the flooring, even her furniture downstairs.

"The ceiling is collapsed, my bedroom has collapsed already, and its all damaged like you can see right now," Hernandez said.

"If I were to experience a similar situation it would be a stressful experience for me as well," said Shane Griffith, spokesman for the Housing Authority of El Paso. They're covering the cost of the moving trucks and are also trying to find families a place to stay.

When Hernandez came to Machuca Apartments to collect the few belongings she has left, she didn't know where she was going to sleep that night.

"It's very stressful and makes me worry because I don't know where they are going to put us," she said.

Now, Griffith assures her they won't be left without a roof over their heads.

"Now she's going to be transferred to another motel until we find her a unit she's happy to live in," he said.

For now, Hernandez is focusing on rebuilding. She received a money card from the American Red Cross with $650 to buy food for her family. She is working with the Housing Authority to cover the cost of the motel.

"Everything is lost," Hernandez said.

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