UPDATE: Crystal Lake Apartment residents still can't return home Sunday


    Residents were forced to evacuate these towers Friday night/ Jayla Whitfield (WGXA)

    UPDATE -- SUNDAY 5 p.m.

    MACON, Ga. -- The Crystal Lake Apartment buildings -- which evacuated its high rise and mid rise Friday due to safety issues -- will remain closed through Sunday night, Macon-Bibb County says. This as "contractors hired by the apartment complex continue to make needed repairs."

    Macon-Bibb says Fire Inspector Willie Johnson spoke with the contractors Sunday afternoon. He was told the work would not be completed by the end of the day.

    "Once the contractors have completed their work, Code Enforcement and the Fire Department will conduct their inspections to determine if the buildings are safe to occupy," Macon-Bibb County says in a release.

    The county says several community groups have come forward to support the displaced residents -- even helping pay for hotel rooms. You can make a donation and help pay for rooms or supplies for the families by contacting Dominique Johnson at 478-227-0796 or Sheknita Davis at 478-254-0060.

    Groups that have lent assistance to displaced residents are:

    • the Bibb County School District
    • the Macon Chapter of the Links, Inc.
    • Macon Chapter of Jack and Jill of America
    • Macon Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
    • the Mentors Project of Bibb County
    • the Salvation Army
    • the American Red Cross

    Macon-Bibb County departments and offices that have been involved include

    • the Fire Department
    • Sheriff's Office
    • Emergency Management Agency
    • Business Development Services (Code Enforcement)
    • Mayor's Office, Economic & Community Development
    • Public Affairs

    The county adds that Mayor Pro Tem Al Tillman and Commissioner Virgil Watkins have been working alongside the community groups "to help identify resources and raise funds for hotels."

    ----

    ORIGINAL STORY -- SATURDAY

    MACON, Ga-- Residents of the mid-rise buildings of Crystal Lake Apartment Complex are now being told they won't be able to return home Saturday.

    Chris Floore with Macon-Bibb said the city is not allowing residents to return because the complex still has work to do to be deemed safe.

    Floore said the Macon Memorial Gym, which was used as a day shelter to house evacuees from the building, will now remain open overnight.

    Any evacuees from Crystal Lake can come to 763 Long Street Saturday for a place to stay.

    Resident Kiana Yates said she was sad to leave her apartment.

    "The whole situation is just crazy. It just really is a surprise, it all happened very fast," she said.

    But Yates said if there is any silver lining, it's that people are coming together.

    "Personally, I don't have too many biological family members. The family that I do have or even that people don't call me their family I'm thankful for everything that anybody's doing," Yates said.

    Floore said if the apartment complex completes everything they need to change by tonight, the fire department and inspector could approve for residents to move back in tomorrow morning.

    Check this story for updates.





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