Flooding in OPA: A Follow Up

A bullet struck a pipeline in the Oak place apartments Oct. 22. Students waited outside for hours in the cold weather hoping they would return to find their apartments undamaged.

Senior Renita Johnson returned to a home that had been severely damaged by the flood. Johnson had water up to her ankles in parts of her room. Most of her clothes and shoes were damaged and some of her D.J. equipment had been fried. That night Johnson lost more than $6,000 worth of items.

Johnson was grateful she had her renters insurance, but the most important thing she lost was her bed.

“I had to sleep on a couch for days,” Johnson said. “I even wrote to UMKC Residential Life about it and they never responded. I didn’t want to sleep on the couch in my room because I have asthma and it was extremely uncomfortable.”

Finally, Johnson was able to get in contact with Residential life and her and four other students were relocated to either the Johnson Dormitory or Hospital Hill Apartments so she no longer had to sleep on the couch.

Repairs to the Oak Place Apartments are ongoing. Some students have returned to their apartments but other apartments are not fully complete.
Johnson had returned to a hallway that was still being painted and a room that’s kitchen was not fully finished. Recently Johnson had to be taken out of her room for four hours so that maintenance crews could wax her floors. According to Johnson, this should have been completed before she moved back in.

John Martellaro, UMKC’s director of media relations, said that the university handled the cleaning the best they could.
“Students were obviously inconvenienced and that’s unfortunate,” Martellaro said. “We regret that that happened. Some of the common areas like the hallways and study room took a little longer because the focus was to address the living spaces first.”

The individual who discharged the firearm that caused the flooding is still at large. According to Martellaro, UMKC and the Kansas City Missouri Police Department are working together to find the suspect.

This incident although stressful and tragic to both students and university officials agreed it is a good time to review and understand UMKC’s firearm policy.

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