Roof leaks again on seniors at Rock Hill old mill apartments

adys@heraldonline.comJanuary 31, 2013 

— Water leaked into several apartments rented by senior citizens late Wednesday at the Highland Mill complex in Rock Hill during stormy weather, forcing some residents to use garbage pails, vases, pots and pans to catch the water.

Rock Hill police officers assisted two wheelchair-bound residents out of apartments during the storm, said police spokesman Lt. Brad Redfearn.

The leaks are at least the second time in just over a year and a half that heavy rains have leaked into apartments on the third floor near the top of the building.

In June 2011, officials with the company that owns and operates the former textile mill that was turned into apartments blamed the leaks on pinholes in the roof and skylights that required resealing, but stated in 2011 that repairs were being made.

“The water was just pouring in – again,” third-floor resident Carol Thaxton said Thursday morning. “I used pots to catch the water, and towels. Then some of us helped clean up at other apartments.”

Thaxton said the water was about an inch deep at one point as it leaked into her kitchen, utility closet and bedroom. Several apartments on the third floor and another on the second floor had leaks, she said.

Another resident showed a reporter from The Herald a row of pots and pans and bowls she used to catch the water that poured in. Water fell on the sofa, the woman said, and her rug was soaked.

Residents have both safety and property concerns, Thaxton said; one resident had previously suffered a stroke and neighbors on the third floor had concerns that person would be injured trying to navigate through wet or slippery spots.

Landmark Property Management of Winston-Salem, N.C., owns and operates several apartment communities located in historic buildings in several states.

The Rock Hill apartments on Standard Street, adjacent to the York County senior center, are for low- or limited-income people older than 55, and many residents there receive federal rent assistance vouchers. There are 116 units in the building.

An official for Landmark who was talking to residents about the water from the storm declined to comment, referring all questions to the corporate office. Efforts to reach someone there for comment have not been successful.

Renovations to the old mill to convert the building into residences cost millions and was a partnership with the city of Rock Hill, using some tax dollars. However, city officials have said the city has no role in property maintenance.

Andrew Dys •  803-329-4065

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