ORONO, Maine — A tenant in an Orono apartment complex that has been the subject of numerous complaints since it opened last fall said Wednesday most of her belongings were destroyed by flooding in her unit.
The Grove, a complex with a 620-tenant capacity that houses mainly college students, has had problems with heating, electricity and mold since it opened.
Jason Chudoba, a company spokesman for Campus Crest, the North Carolina-based company that owns The Grove, said in an email late Wednesday afternoon that melting snow was the primary cause of the flooding in the woman’s unit and six others. The $25.3 million complex features 12 apartment buildings and eight townhouses.
“Melting snow resulted in water pooling around the back area of seven townhouses,” said Chudoba. “Falling temperatures at night caused the water to freeze, creating an ice dam that prevented the water from dissipating. As a result, water seeped into those seven units.”
The University of Maine student, who asked that her name not be disclosed, called the Bangor Daily News on Wednesday morning to notify the newspaper of the situation at her apartment.
Despite the fact that the the student had given the BDN permission to survey the scene in her apartment, a BDN reporter and photographer were asked to leave the unit by a management employee.
The student said in a Facebook message she was not happy with the conditions in her apartment.
“Our carpet is soaked, all of our food in our pantry is soaked,” the student said, adding most of the belongings in the ground-floor apartment, including a flat screen TV, were “absolutely destroyed.”
Orono Town Manager Sophie Wilson said Wednesday afternoon that the town office hadn’t fielded any calls from Grove tenants regarding flooding problems.
“We have not heard about any problems there [Wednesday],” Wilson said.
Chudoba said crews were at the complex shortly after Campus Crest staff were notified of the problem.
“Dehumidifiers have been provided to affected residents and the property’s facility manager has removed the ice dams to prevent the issue from happening again,” he said.
Chudoba also apologized to tenants of the complex.
“We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused our residents,” he said.
Previous complaints about conditions at The Grove have been reported to the town’s health officer, Wilson said.
Campus Crest has about 40 properties nationwide.