The damage to Lovell Crossing Apartments was caused by an EF2 tornado that struck West Knoxville in early August.
Pamela White knew her building was damaged, but never expected to have to move out permanently.
“Today, a little before 1 p.m., we received an email that stated that we had to get all of our belongings out, that they were breaking our leases,” White explained. “My building and several other buildings were given today, tomorrow, and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to get all of our belongings out of our apartments.”
According to emails sent out by the apartment’s management, this is is the case for multiple buildings on the property. Residents are being given 18 total hours to move out over the course of three days.
“It’s a total disregard of that fact that we have jobs, we have to find storage units, we need to find other places to live, I mean I was just appalled, everyone I’ve talked to is appalled,” White said.
Kayla Sutton is in the same boat. She said they were told in an email her building would be able to be restored sooner than most.
“It stated that we were one of three with minimal damage that would be expected to be moved back in and restored sooner,” she said. “They took my lease paper work so they renewed my lease, and so I was under the impression that I would be back in in maybe a couple months, definitely not that they were going to terminate everybody’s lease.”
According to one of the emails from apartment management, they will be refunding any rent money paid for the August 7th period.
Sutton echoed White’s concerns about the limited moving time.
“My neighbors above me are medical students. My neighbor next to me works in healthcare. My neighbor down the street is a teacher, so if they can’t take off Thursday, Friday. They have 6 hours on Saturday to pack everything up,” Sutton said.
Aside from the stress of moving, some of these residents also have to find a place to live.
“Right now, I have no idea. I was in a hotel and I had to move yesterday to another hotel because that one didn’t have any bookings beyond yesterday, even though I wasn’t aware of that, so now I’m at another hotel and that’s why I’m trying to get in touch in with my insurance,” White said. “How long am I going to be able to stay there until I can find something?”
The move out shifts for residents begin Thursday. WATE also reached out to Lovell Crossing Apartments, but has yet to hear back at the time of this article being published.