HomeRenters InsuranceMystic Woods condo residents worry as damage concerns mount days after storms

Mystic Woods condo residents worry as damage concerns mount days after storms

Days after strong storms and tornados struck the region residents continue trying to dig out from under downed trees and powerlines, and many are finding recovery a confusing, frustrating process.


The Mystic Woods condos off Pensacola Street used to have a forested canopy. Not anymore. Many of the units have trees through the roofs. On Tuesday, some residents were loading up U-Hauls with the remnants of their belongings. There’s still no power four days after three EF-2 tornados tore through Tallahassee. At Mystic Woods, many of the residents are renters without renter’s insurance and some, like Keith Neely, don’t have renters’ insurance or anywhere to go.

“I just paid my rent,” he told WFSU. “I’m trying to figure out how they’re going to assist us. We need some assistance here, we need somewhere to live, to rectify this stuff.”

His unit escaped the storms undamaged, but his building has several large pine trees lying on it, with one splitting the building nearly in half.

Mystic Woods’ Property Manager Troy Carver is overwhelmed at the scale of the damage, and frustrated with the local response.

“I have all this stuff written down where I called ya’ll,” said Carver, referring to calls he’s made to local social service groups. “They’re like ‘we don’t know what to say right now.’ Okay. We got lied to. Cause I had a whole bunch of people [residents] here, I said I can’t answer your questions until they get here.”

Carver estimates removing the trees alone will cost more than $120,000. Later on Tuesday, a spokesman for the county said local groups like the Red Cross and Salvation Army went out to Mystic Woods “bringing residents food, water and other basic needs.”

The complex will soon have to navigate several categories of insurance, says former deputy state insurance commissioner Lisa Miller.

That includes the policies for the renters if they have them. The policies of the condo owners themselves, and the master policy that covers the structure of the building itself—which is typically held by the Homeowners Association.

“If you’re a renter, I pray you have renter’s insurance and you know who that policy is with and you call that number and tell them your losses,” she said. “If you live in a condo association, for example. Your board of directors bought a master condominium policy that covers the envelope of the building. You, as a condo owner, bought a policy that covers the walls, in—all the contents inside. And if you’re renting from one of those condo owners, hopefully, you bought renters insurance. That’s the trilogy if you will.”

That trilogy is what many residents of Mystic Woods are facing as they await updates on how the complex moves forward after the storms.

Local governments are directing anyone in need to call 2-1-1 for help navigating a maze of local social and community services. Several shelters are also open.

On Wednesday, the city reported it had repaired 96% of outages in an endeavor that saw large-scale rebuilding of the city’s electrical grid. In a statement sent to customers via text message, the city says its rebuilding efforts in the most impacted areas will last through Friday. After that, it will begin work on individual and isolated outages.


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