Flooding displaces 29 people with disabilities in Matteson; donations sought

MATTESON, Ill. — A burst pipe turned lives upside down at a Matteson apartment complex this week.

The building’s 29 residents have disabilities and are considered low-income. People lost most of their belongings to flooding, which made the apartment complex uninhabitable.

It all began about noon Saturday when a pipe burst in the building’s fire sprinkler system in the attic. Water cascaded to lower floors.

The Matteson Fire Department responded, helping tenants evacuate.

Over The Rainbow, the nonprofit organization that manages the building, is temporarily housing residents in a nearby Comfort Inn. It could take some time before the building becomes habitable again.

“The ceilings fell down,” Katie Miglore, vice president of resident services at Over The Rainbow, said. “There's so much water damage. [They] lost their beds, clothes, their kitchens, valuables and sentimental belongings that aren’t replaceable.”

Residents on Tuesday spent the afternoon salvaging what they could. Many did not have renter’s insurance.

“I ain’t got no bed, no couch,” resident Anton McDaniels said. “Everything got damaged in my apartment.”

“All of the food has mildewed and soured, so now all of the food is no good,” resident Katie Arsberry said.

Over The Rainbow is looking for donations of clothing, shoes, bedding and toiletries. The organization can be contacted at its main office in Evanston at 847-328-6633.

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