Parkside East Apartments Likely Uninhabitable for Weeks After Flooding

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  Displaced tenants who lived at the Parkside East Apartments are in the process of finding a new place to live, thanks to help from their landlord.

Conlin Properties manages the apartments and says 144 people were displaced; 50 of those tenants lived on the first floor. This is where Maria Quintero lived with her three children, one of whom is is disabled. Quintero says floodwaters ruined her daughter's electric equipment.

"She has a special bed and it probably doesn't work anymore," Quintero says.

The only things salvageable in the apartments are left hanging on the walls and shelves, as the water was waist-deep during the peak of the flooding. Conlin Properties is helping tenants, especially those who lived on the first floor, find permanent housing, but officials say it could be at least three months before repairs to the first floor are finished.

"They might be coming from a three-bedroom and they might need another three-bedroom, but we might only have a two-bedroom, so we are trying to match that up," says Chief Operating Officer JB Conlin. For residents living on the second and third floors, it could be at least two weeks before they are able to move back in.

So far, management has been able to place several families into new apartments, which is a gesture appreciated by tenants like Quintero.

"It was really nice of them to try to do that for us. We are in need right now. We need everything right now, and to know that someone is willing to help you find a place, it's really nice."

Polk County officials have launched the Polk County Flood Help fund. Monetary donations are preferred and can be taken to 1548 Hull Avenues in Des Moines.