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Dozens forced to leave condemned Pahokee apartment building

Posted at 5:17 PM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 17:17:36-04

PAHOKEE, Fla. — An apartment building in Pahokee has been condemned and dozens of people living there are being forced to leave.

U-Haul trucks pulled away from 314 Rardin Avenue in Pahokee on Friday.

Those living here are carrying out furniture, carpets, and loading bags into their cars after the building has been deemed unsafe.

"They came yesterday and gave them 24 hours. Some of these people have lived 12 to 15 years here," said Pam Watts.

Watts says behind these walls the living conditions are deplorable.

"There are no cabinets, no doors. The tiles are chipped and pulled up, there's roaches they're in the walls," Watts said.

James Pryor tells us there are also plumbing issues..with water leaking from one floor to another and he says residents have been complaining for years.

"You have the walls separate from the ceiling, you have bugs coming out the other apartments," Pryor said.

Four weeks ago, nearly 100 people were killed when a condo collapsed in Surfside.

Because of that, the city of Pahokee says building officials inspected this property and declared it structurally unsound.

The building owner telling WPTV over the phone that safety is the primary concern.

"We got our engineer and the city and the chief building official and everything to make sure that we cooperate fully to keep everyone safe," the owner said.

But many residents say they feel like they have been kept in the dark, and many have no place to go.

"It's terrible because they knew for months this was coming," Watts said.