Storm damage in Wilmore forces tenants from apartments

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WILMORE, Ky. (WKYT) - Wilmore is a small town, yet on Wednesday just before 3 p.m., it was hit with a big burst of wind.

"Whatever it was just sort of dropped right here, and that was it," says Fire Chief Jimmy Powers, looking at the damage left behind.

As the storm rolled in, it rolled the roof back over the Subway restaurant and the apartments above it.

"It took the main roof off, there's still sheeting down there, but it took the main membrane off the roof," described Chief Powers.

After surveying the damage, emergency crews evacuated the apartments and the restaurant because what they found inside didn't look good for the tenants.

"A lot of water damage at this point," the Fire Chief stated.

The flooding inside, coupled with parts of the roof missing, forced the tenants to move out.

"I could see water coming in through the ceiling," said Jonathan Carman, who saw what was done to his neighbor's apartment.

The problem only got worse as Chief Powers said, "The water is starting to come into the first floor already, and starting to take the ceiling out of that."

Carman, like everyone else, is having to move out whatever he can because they won't be able to return to their home for some time.

"A nice little burst of wind that came through no doubt," he said. "The roof it looks like it peeled and stopped right at the edge of our apartment. Our neighbors are all flooded out though."

Chief Powers added, "They're going to have to get a structural engineer to come in and check the building out. It looks like mainly the facade is what got it. That looks like what took the most hit; but until we get somebody in here to look at it to make sure there wasn't any further damage, they're going to be out for a while."

The storm may have passed, but the cleanup efforts will take a while longer.

"There's definitely a mess up there," summed up Carman.

Several tarps have been placed over the roof to cover the holes in case of more rain.

The Wilmore property owners say while they owned this building for the past 11 years, they renovated nine apartments. The owners believe the storm did hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage and left seven of their nine apartments unlivable.

According to the owners, the 15 people living in the building were forced out of their homes. We're told all of them are living with friends or family in the area. The owners say they can't start repairing the building yet because they're waiting for the building inspector to take a look at the damage. Power has been restored, though, and they've covered the roof with a tarp and they've started drying out the building.

It could be three to six months before people are able to move back into their apartments.

The property owners say they've been told that the stretch of Lexington Avenue that is closed and the Subway that sits below the apartments will be opened again on Thursday.

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