Nfld. & Labrador

Weather damage forces evacuation of St. John's apartment building

Residents in more than 60 units of an apartment building in St. John's were forced out of their homes on Wednesday.

Churchill Square apartments evacuated after wind, rain this week

The Linden Court apartment building contains some commercial tenants, like Alpine Country Lodge. (Ted Dillion/CBC)

Residents in more than 60 units of an apartment complex in St. John's were forced out of their homes on Wednesday.

The units in Churchill Square Apartments were evacuated after the building was damaged by high winds over the weekend, and again by winds and rain on Wednesday.

Businesses that operate on the ground floor of the building, like Alpine Country Lodge, were also evacuated.

Charlie Oliver, who manages the apartment complex through his business Martek Morgan-Finch, said the weather over the week has packed a one-two punch.

"Getting hit again so quickly just caused…a bit of a bigger problem than we had at the end of the first storm," he said Wednesday night.

The Red Cross arrived on the scene around 3 p.m. They have set up a processing centre on the second floor of Terrace on the Square, in a space offered up by Martek.

Residents of the affected units are asked to check in or register with the group, or the property managers at 709-754-1090.

A Red Cross vehicle is parked at Churchill Square in St. John's, near where apartments had been evacuated. (Ted Dillion/CBC)

Oliver says the fix might take some time. After a semi-permanent roof is installed, city inspectors have to be in to check out the apartments.

"It's not a one or two-day affair," he said.

Oliver said most of the residents in the apartment complex are seniors.

The Red Cross said most people do have a place to stay, and the group is working on temporary housing for people who do not.

According to Clarice Legrow with the Red Cross, the group will remain in Churchill Square until about 9 or 10 p.m.

Looking for options

Bandhan Mukherjee and Sriya Bhattacharya are Memorial University students who had to leave their apartment in the evacuation.

Bandhan Mukherjee and Sriya Bhattacharya took a suitcase out of their apartment as they left. (Marilyn Boone/CBC)

They're going to spend the next two nights in residence at the university, but aren't sure what might happen after that.

They say there is no damage to their apartment unit itself.


  • An earlier version of this report incorrectly identified Churchill Square Apartments as Linden Court Apartments.
    Mar 16, 2017 11:37 AM NT

With files from Curtis Rumbolt