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Grandview apartment ceiling collapses from heavy rain


GRANDVIEW, Mo. (KCTV) – It’s been a wet few weeks, including a downpour Tuesday morning.

Some people have remarked about flooded lawns, ditches or basements. For one Grandview mom, it contributed to a ceiling collapse that she says could have been prevented if her landlord addressed a smaller leak weeks ago.

Kayla Johnson has lived with her 8-year-old daughter at Briarwood Gardens for three years. She’s been happy there until recently.

On Tuesday afternoon, she walked through the apartment showing KCTV heaps of things that were soaked: Clothes, photos, her sofa cushions, and the wall-to-wall carpeting. A big chunk of sheet rock had been cut out of her ceiling, revealing wood beams. This was after a maintenance crew had come to remove a big chunk of the ceiling that fell down in the morning while she and her daughter were home.

“My daughter was crying,” said Johnson. “She was in the hallway.”

“I jumped up and ran to the door, and then the whole roof just started . . . breaking,” recalled her daughter, Tristyn.

She documented what happened Tuesday with videos on her phone.

The first video at 8:45 a.m. shows Rubbermaid containers with dirty water that she said was coming from her ceiling. She said she went to the rental office and they told her they’d get a crew out to address it.

By 9:45 a.m. there was what looked like a gash in the ceiling, a narrow chunk of painted sheet rock hanging precariously.

The next video she took at 10:23 a.m. showed at least half of the living room ceiling gone.

“So, while we’re waiting, my apartment is literally caving in,” Johnson said. “And then, everybody came at one time.”

That all happened on Tuesday, but she says the first leak came three weeks ago. A dark spot on the ceiling a few inches from what was cut out remains.

She said she called to report and the staff offered her buckets until a repair crew could come. She said no one ever came until the ceiling fell.

“I feel like it could have been prevented had they came three weeks ago,” Johnson said.

KCTV5 arrived just as a man she identified as the property manager called to check on Johnson and her daughter. He advised there was water in the walls as well. He asked if the apartment was livable. She said no, so he offered her a hotel in the interim.

After identifying ourselves as KCTV5, we asked why it took three weeks to get someone to address the problem. He said the initial leak was caused by roof work that “wasn’t done right.” He noted they had a new roof. He gave no answer on what caused the delay addressing the initial report. He said he would discuss it with Johnson and to get the response from her.

She said he remarked about high wind damaging shingles but didn’t directly answer her question about the three-week time frame.

Johnson is confident they’ll fix the problem now but wants assurances it will be done right.

She asked about covering the cost of the damage to her property, she said, and he indicated they will discuss that after the repairs are made. She acknowledged she does not have renters insurance and called that part of the experience a “lesson learned.” But still, she feels like she deserves some compensation.

“I know I didn’t have the insurance, but let’s try to make it right, come to some solution,” Johnson said. “I have been a faithful tenant. Rent is paid every time. I don’t have any issues. I don’t have any noise complaints. I have no issues here. So, I just want to make it right.”

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