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Some Woodridge Townhome Residents Must Leave And Can't Come Back Until Spring, All Because Of Issues Stemming From June Tornado Damage

WOODRIDGE, Ill. (CBS) -- Some Woodridge townhome owners have to leave their homes by Friday, Dec. 17, and they won't be able to go back until spring of 2022.

As CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot reported, this all has to do with a tornado that hit Woodridge, and specifically the Woodridge Country Club Townhomes complex, back in June.

The June tornado damage is still visible at the complex. Front glass doors are off hinges, and windows are glass-free.

Townhome owners got notices on their doors Friday, saying they need to leave their homes on Dec. 17. The reason is that the water needs to be shut off to all 56 townhomes during the winter months, for fear the pipes will burst.

Now, the people living in the complex are wondering where they're going to go.

"Right now, we're literally trying to see where we're going to go, because we didn't plan on this," said Leslie Ramos.

Ramos has lived in a townhome at the complex for the past 15 years with her family. She said when the tornado hit five of the townhomes in Woodridge Club Condominiums Association 5 at the complex on June 20, she was told the drywall in her home had to be removed because of water damage. She has been living with plastic sheeting in her home ever since.

Ramos received the notice to vacate on Friday. It says she along with the other townhome owners in Association 5 need to leave their homes by Dec. 17.

"They could have at least told us, 'Hey, we might have an issue during the winter' - just a warning, at least. You know," Ramos said. "I don't know, but they didn't and now we have like 14 days. I still can't believe that."

The notice says the water needs to be shut off to the homes during the winter months to avoid pipes freezing and bursting. Woodridge Village Administrator Al Stonitsch said the tornado damage is the reason for the water shut off.

"There are exposed areas in the townhome common areas, meaning there's no insulation. There's open walls," Stonitsch said, "and so their concern longer term as you go into the winter season with being able to properly heat those areas, and ultimately avoid freezing pipes throughout the complex."

Ramos, along with everyone else, will not be allowed back into their homes until the spring of 2022. She said she called the village hotline for help, and said she is still waiting to hear back.

"I have no idea what I'm going to do right now," Ramos said.

The village administrator says his office is getting back to everyone who has left messages on the village hotline on Monday. He said they will be helping those in need with food and housing.

The hotline is at (630) 719-2496.

The Village of Woodridge explained that a village representative will return hotline calls and ask for residents' names, contact information, and need for assistance. The village will pair callers with a case manager who will work directly with townhome residents who are affected.

UPDATE 12/07/21 5:54 p.m.

MC Property Management Corporation, which manages the townhome complex, issued this statement below a day after our story aired. The statement explains why the order to vacate homes is necessary and how it is being handled.

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