A rooftop blew off of an apartment building on the 300 block of 8th street during Tuesday night’s heavy storms. The call was received by the Perry Police Department at about 9:20 p.m.
“When you go upstairs on the second floor, there’s two apartments, 3 and 4 and the roof is gone on both sides,” Brian Eiteman, Assistant Fire Chief of the Perry Fire Department said.
Chief Chris Hinds believes residents possessions will be damaged throughout the night.
“I’m sure some of their possessions are blown away and a lot of their possessions are wet and messed up,” Hinds said.
Eiteman believes straight-line winds and a down burst in the area were the cause of the destruction
“When you look at the damage, it almost seems like it was one narrow path because it took the roof off and it downed a tree right next to it on the south side,” Eiteman detailed. “The debris blew across the road and hit a house across the street.”
First-floor apartment 2 resident, Crystal Guzman, 21, was evacuated from the building after the incident.
“They [The Fire Department] just said to wait here to get our names” Guzman said. “He [the landlord] has already talked with us and he is going to contact the insurance and see what’s going to happen.”
Guzman has been a resident in the apartment for two months.
Ismail Ibrahim, Apartment 4 resident, was working at Tyson when the roof blew off. His living room and kitchen was left untouched, but his bedroom no longer has a ceiling.
Ibrahim surveyed the damage on Wednesday morning after spending the evening in a motel provided by the Red Cross.
“The good thing is everybody is safe; it’s just stuff, it doesn’t matter,” Ibrahim said about the loss of his possessions.
Directly across the hallway from Ibrahim, Apartment 3’s entire space is littered in debris and is left without a ceiling.
The apartment landlord was distraught about the state of the building, Eiteman described.
“We had people bring their stuff out; firemen were bringing possessions out, putting them in their vehicles so they could get out of the rain and then they [residents] dispersed here,” Eiteman said.
Residents were instructed to hang tight in a conference room at the Fire Department while members of the Red Cross traveled to Perry. After their arrival, third Red Cross members began to interview residents about the incident as well as their possessions.
“They’ll [The Red Cross] come out and put them in a motel,” Hinds said. “They’ll basically give them [residents] what they need or provide them with cash to get what they need to get by.”
The Perry Fire Department advises residents to not travel through the destruction as debris from the roof as strewn throughout the street.
“They’re going to shut it down in the morning because they have to take the tree out,” Eiteman said describing the debris clean-up process.
The road will be opened up as soon as everything is cleared.
“Public Works went out and moved the debris out of the middle of it [the road] so anybody lives there can get out and go to work,” Hinds said.
Both Chief Hinds and Eiteman believe the building has been in the Perry area since the seventies.