The Real Deal New York

Residents say earthquake caused structural damage in Red Hook housing project

September 30, 2011 11:38AM

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Residents of a housing project in Red Hook say that their buildings
still suffer unrepaired damage from the earthquake this August, the
New York Daily News reported.

Damage includes cracked walls and slanted floors,
according to the residents of Red Hook West Houses. When the
earthquake struck on Aug. 23, bricks from a rooftop wall fell down and
the floor in Thekla Giles’ apartment shifted. Giles has lived in
Brooklyn’s largest housing project since 1974. “I break into a sweat
when I get here,” she said, pointing out a crooked bathroom sink and
uneven kitchen countertops. “I get nervous. Everything is just off.”

Two engineers from the New York City Housing Authority inspected five
apartments in the 14-story building on Sept. 20 and did not find any
structural damage. They found that the floor tiles were cracked by
plywood under the flooring, and that wall cracks were from “caulking
when the apartments were painted,” according to a spokesperson.

Residents argue that the damage definitely happened during the
earthquake. “The wall was cracking,” said Mike Cook, who grew up in
the apartment complex and lives on the seventh floor. “You could hear
it. You could see it. It sounded like the building was coming down.”
He said he was worried but can’t afford to move out. “I didn’t know
who to complain to,” he said. “I just figured there was nothing we
could do, because we live in the projects.” [NYDN]

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