Apartment complex plagued by repeat flooding welcoming tenants again
BATON ROUGE – An apartment complex that’s flooded at least twice before is accepting first-floor tenants again.
Siegen Calais apartments flooded in August 2016 and again in May 2021. Last year, water swelled Ward Creek and overtopped the banks, flooding the areas around it. The floodwater inundated the first floor of the apartment complex, and tenants were rescued by boat by the St. George Fire Department.
People living there were forced to throw out their damaged property. Parked cars were flooded and totaled. Some tenants were anxious to leave last year. Nikita Johnson lived on the second floor and wanted out of her lease due to mold concerns. Then, Johnson said Siegen Calais staff sent an email which said only downstairs residents would be let out of their leases without penalty. People living on the second floor were not offered that option.
“Who wants to get sick from that, you know what I’m saying?” Johnson said. “I have two kids.”
Nearly nine months after the last flood, there are first-floor units that have been renovated and are ready for new tenants to move into. It’s gotten the attention of the city-parish.
The City-Parish says the property owners can remodel following the flood, but they’d need a permit to do so. According to the city-parish permit office, the development has filed a commercial occupancy permit to get the lights turned on but has not applied for a commercial remodeling permit.
The city-parish says when tenants move in, the property owners are not required to inform them about a previous flood. Right now, the parish says it’s not aware of any violations, but it is looking into complaints.
Multiple calls to Siegen Calais’ property management company, First Choice Management, have not been returned.