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Senior residents in Charlotte still displaced after Christmas flood at Magnolia Senior Apartments

Residents of the Magnolia Senior Apartments have been displaced without access to their belongings for over two weeks after a burst pipe flooded the building.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — About 85 senior residents were displaced on Christmas Day after their apartment building flooded. Now, many of them worry they're on the brink of being on the street.

The living facility, Magnolia Senior Apartments, and the city of Charlotte are paying for them to stay in hotels through the end of January, but they don’t know what will happen next.

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Wednesday night was the first time many of the residents got any sort of answers from management when they had an in-person meeting at the hotel. However, residents are still feeling confused and left out in the cold. 

“I had to cry to the maintenance man last week, 'Please get my oxygen tank, I need my oxygen,'” displaced resident Denise Watson told WCNC Charlotte's Julia Kauffman.

Most residents are staying at a hotel nearby with the few things they were able to grab while being evacuated. 

"I've lost everything I have," Judy Winchester Hallman said.

Bill Bolstad, the executive director of Mosaic Development Group which owns Magnolia, admitted to not keeping residents in the loop during the crisis. 

"We’ve talked repeatedly about how communication has been a challenge," Bolstad said to the group of upset residents.  

He said repairs could take up to nine months, forcing the company to terminate some people’s leases that live in units with extensive damage.   

Resident Margaret Johnson said she’s one of the residents being put out. Her apartment was flooded and many of her belongings were ruined. She has no clue when she can get her things or what’s even salvageable.  

"I need to know when I’m gonna be able to get my things and move out," Johnson said. 

Bolstad said those being kicked out can come back once repairs are done.

"You’re the first one on the list, that unit is yours,” Bolstad told residents. 

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Rooms at the hotels for residents were originally expiring this Saturday, but the city of Charlotte has agreed to foot the bill until the end of this month while nonprofits work to find more permanent housing for them.  

Despite the meeting, Watson said most of her questions went unanswered and she feels, "so unheard and disrespected.” 

The next step is for residents to coordinate with the nonprofit partners and management to get their essential items and medications that were left behind. However, it's unclear how soon that can happen. 

Several nonprofit organizations have stepped in to help including Be You Be Great and Champion House of Care.

Contact Julia Kauffman at jkauffman@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram  

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