High water blamed for residential, road flooding in Champaign County

Champaign County: Landlord must show ‘progress is being made’ before apartments deemed safe

Residents of eight apartments in Urbana will find out Wednesday if their homes are safe to return to after their units were condemned on Monday due to flood waters.

The Champaign County Board of Health will return to the homes on the first floor of the Settlers Ridge Apartments, located at 941 W. State Route 29 in Urbana, to decide whether the apartments are no longer a health concern.

“We choose to condemn a property if it is a threat to people’s health or safety,” said Gabriel Jones, Health Commissioner for the Champaign County Health District. “We have given them a set of instruction for the shape it needs to be in when we return.”

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In order for residents to be allowed to return to their homes, Jones said the board has to see that, “progress is being made,” to repair water damage.

Water damage occurred after high water forced dozens of Settlers Ridge residents from their homes on Monday morning after the building’s first floor apartments took in about 10 inches of water.

Jones said the board has been working directly with the Settlers Ridge Apartment’s property manager to convey what improvements need to be made.

“He knows what needs to be done in order to show that progress has been made in 48 hours,” Jones said. “But if it is still unsafe, we will keep it condemned.”

Settlers Ridge Apartments office said they had no comment when asked about the flooding.

Michael Funk spent Tuesday cleaning and removing water from his condemned apartment. He said he’s staying with his cousin until his home is safe to return to.

“I’m just going to keep doing what I can,” Funk said. “It’s better than it was yesterday. We will just have to wait and see what happens tomorrow.”

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The American Red Cross was on seen at the apartments Tuesday in order to leave information of residents who, unlike Funk, may need assistance with somewhere to stay.

Lynne Gump, Executive Director for the Northern Miami Valley American Red Cross, said their office has at least five cases open regarding the flooding at Settlers Ridge.

“These are people who have sat down with a case worker,” Gump said. “We are now working to determine what their needs are and how we can assist them.”

Gump said the American Red Cross has made several visits to the Settlers Ridge complex in regard to flooding, as the complex has a history of floods.

“We were there last month and this time last year,” Gump said. “They are pretty historic for flooding.”

Another Settlers Ridge resident, Heather Mattox, said the building flooded just last week, and has seen constant flooding since 2003.

“Everybody knows and they’re not doing nothing,” Mattox said. “It’s ridiculous.”

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