Residents rush to vacate 144 first-floor apartments at Sabal Chase

Apartments condemned after flooding from Irma

ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - More than 100 families have 24 hours to leave their apartments. The city of Fort Pierce condemned 144 units all on the first floor at Sabal Chase apartments because of severe flooding.

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By Thursday afternoon, families have to turn in their keys and vacate their apartments.  The big challenge has been to find available storage and moving trucks.

A local church has offered to help people move their things and will be at the complex all day Thursday, according to the property manager. 

Many residents find themselves rushing against time to box up their belongings.  "We got the last two storage units in Fort Pierce left, there are no U-Hauls left and we have to be out by tomorrow," said Drew Cappar. 

Cappar is helping his disabled mom who has trouble walking.

Candy Cappar said she is finding the strength to keep moving.  "I don't know, it comes from somewhere inside, I've never quite figured that out. It comes from somewhere you just kind of get, you got to get it done and the time is now," said Cappar.  

Water had receded at the complex where earlier in the week you could not tell the difference between ponds and parking lots.

Sharon Boatwright said she's lived at the complex for nearly 15 years on and off and never expected the flooding she and her neighbors experienced.  

"I started crying, water everywhere," said Boatwright. "I have never ever seen it look like this." 

The property manager said a local church group offered to help people who don't have trucks or vans to move their things.   "It's not something we had expected to happen from the hurricane and I just want all of them to know that we are here to help and support them in any way that we can," said Anna Short, Regional Manager for Greystone.  

People will have checks waiting for them at the leasing office when they return their keys Thursday. They are getting their security deposits, prorated rent, and $500 cash assistance for those families displaced.  

Many still don't know where they'll go while they wait for FEMA assistance. "One day at a time. That's all I can do," said Boatwright. 

Palm Beach and Treasure Coast counties are now eligible for FEMA assistance. To apply call the Disaster Assistance line at 1-800-621-3362 or you can go to DisasterAssistance.gov.

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