County declares 96 Cavalier units unsafe

The 96 ground-floor units of the Cavalier Apartments in east Charlotte are too damaged by flooding to be habitable, Mecklenburg County inspectors have determined.

County officials, calling the units “dangerous,” will allow residents in the first-floor apartments to return until 5 p.m. Sunday to retrieve and clean belongings. But they won't be allowed to sleep or live there, and power will not be restored to the apartments.

Rain from the remnants of Tropical Storm Fay soaked the Charlotte region Wednesday, causing severe flooding in low-lying areas – such as the Eastover neighborhood, where Briar Creek cuts between the Cavalier and Doral complexes off Monroe Road.

The county bought the 192-unit Cavalier complex this year for $9.6 million, $5.4 million of that from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The purchase was part of a county program to buy floodplain properties.

Even before this week, the county had planned to relocate the residents, demolish the building and convert the land to a greenway or park. A management company and a relocation firm have been working with the county to help find residents new places to live, and relocation packages are being assembled for people who lived on the first floor.

The upstairs units will be safe to live in once power comes back. But county officials aren't sure when that will be, and even when power is restored, air conditioners will remain inoperable.

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