Des Moines Family Living in Hotel for Weeks After Avoidable Apartment Flooding

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A family of five is forced to live out of a hotel for the past 10 days and counting due to flooding in their apartment off Merle Hay Road. But this flooding is not like what we are seeing near rivers, as it could've been completely avoided.

Jessica and Jeffrey Grange’s belongings are currently stacked high in their apartment, making room for fans trying to dry things out.

"This is the outside wall, and it was literally seeping in,” Jessica Grange explained. “I don't know if you can tell, but the wall is bowing out here just from all the water damage."

They say almost two weeks ago, melting snow and rain caused water to enter in all areas of their apartment.

"It was coming in through the outside walls. It was coming in through the patios. It was coming up and over the seals in the bathtubs, just kind of a mess,” Jessica said.

With 5-year-old, 4-year-old and 6-month-old children, they had no choice but to leave.

"My motherly instincts kicked in, and I was like, ‘we cannot stay here,’” Jessica said.

They moved into a hotel for the time being. Ten days later, they are still there and say they haven't been able to get answers from their landlord.

"We called the office a total of five times and we were like, ‘what should we do,’ ‘where should we go,’” Jessica said.

The City of Des Moines neighborhood inspections did go out to the unit Monday and says the apartment complex's downspouts weren't draining correctly causing the flood, and that is the landlord's responsibility.

"The fact that I called you and we let you know, ‘hey we're flooding’. I don't care if we're a family of five, your job is to take care of your tenants,” Jeffrey said.

The Granges check in on their home daily and say they can tell management is entering the apartment, moving things around, and bringing in fans, but aren't communicating what, if anything, is being done.

"We're losing so much money staying in a hotel,” Jessica said. “I mean, one week is equivalent to what we pay a month here, and we just can't keep doing that. We have to find some place to go and this is not livable, still."

Channel 13 reached out to the Ashley Square apartments and did not hear back. They told the neighborhood inspector that the tenants are not granting them access to the unit. The Granges say they have never asked to enter.

This is not the first time the Grange's apartment flooded. Back in June they also had to leave their home, but they were at least given an unoccupied unit while repairs were made.

The Granges sent certified letters to both the local office and the regional manager of the apartment complex asking for a partial reimbursement for March's rent and notifying of their plans to break lease due to the unit being uninhabitable.

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