By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – About 130 people who lived in the 67 apartments at Combs Court on Cass Street must vacate their homes by noon today.
Weekend flooding destroyed the apartment units, and the Corinth Housing Authority will gut and restore them.
Residents received notice Tuesday to leave by Thursday noon, but the deadline was extended a day, said Don Morgan, chief executive of the housing authority.
“Our mistake was letting them back in there,” Morgan said.
The Environmental Protection Agency has said the apartments are not livable because of the sewage water that got into the storm drains.
“All of the cabinets, appliances, floor tiles, wiring, everything has to be replaced,” Morgan said. “People’s belongings that got wet need to be thrown away also. The health department said to destroy anything that could soak up water.”
The flooding was part of the weekend weather system that spawned tornadoes and led to six deaths in Northeast Mississippi. Corinth was hit particularly hard by the high water.
So far most residents have found other places to go, he said, with about seven people needing to seek help at the American Red Cross shelter at the Crossroads Arena.
Some of the residents are with relatives, a few were placed in other CHA residences, and several were placed in units of the Tennessee Valley Regional Housing Authority, he said.
“The Red Cross and The Salvation Army are providing shelter and food, and that’s going to continue until everybody is placed,” Morgan said. “We’re going to try to turn the units around as quick as we can.”
The Combs Court residents are likely to be displaced at least 30 to 60 days, he said. The housing authority hasn’t talked with its insurance company yet; the damage assessment isn’t complete yet for processing by the federal and state emergency management agencies.
Volunteer groups are helping residents pack their belongings for storage in a secure location until they can get back into their homes.
“We had nearly five feet of water in some of the units, and that’s going to take time to correct,” Morgan said. “We just want everybody to know we’re doing the best we can.”
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.