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Another delay for tenants’ return

New water line break floods parts of Civic Plaza II in Rock Falls

ROCK FALLS – An early-morning water line break on Friday at the evacuated Civic Plaza II will push back the move-in date of its residents to at least next week.

The break flooded the elevator shaft and the first floor, and took out the control for the elevators. That will need to be repaired before the residents are able to return to their homes.

Rock Falls building inspector Mark Searing said he got a phone call about the water line break about 8 or 8:30 Friday morning.

“We were going to be able to open it back up today,” he said. “Then I got the call.”

The five-story building provides subsidized housing for 63 elderly and disabled people, who were displaced during the early-morning hours of Jan. 4 after a sprinkler system pipe on the east side froze and then burst, flooding the building.

The residents were forced to find shelter elsewhere. Some went to nearby homes of friends and family members. But 38 of the residents were taken to two Rock Falls motels – 35 to the Days Inn and three to the Napp Inn.

The motel bills are being paid for by the building’s owners, Morton Grove-based S1 Management Inc.

The Days Inn guests are having breakfasts provided by the motel, and lunches and dinners provided by Meals on Wheels. Civic Plaza II’s manager, Tatum Eckstein, said an anonymous donor sent over 15 pizzas from Pizza Hut on Wednesday.

Those at the Napp Inn are saving their meal receipts, Eckstein said, and they will be reimbursed.

Eckstein said she spends a good amount of time every day feeding and caring for the few animals that had to be left behind during the evacuation – some cats and birds.

“They’re doing really good,” Eckstein said. “I’m really impressed with the residents. They’re having really good attitudes about the whole thing.”

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