ROCK FALLS – Rita Krummel, 73, walked into the five-story Civic Plaza II with her cane in hand Wednesday. Her cat, Tommy, awaited her.
The manager, she said, fed her cat and even took care of the litter box since Jan. 4, when Krummel and the other tenants were evacuated from the complex because of flooding.
"They spent time with all of the pets," Krummel said. "We got taken care of."
The 63 elderly and disabled residents were allowed to return to their homes Wednesday. They had been forced out when a frozen sprinkler system pipe burst and flooded the building. Their return was delayed Friday when a water line break flooded the first floor and elevator shaft.
By Wednesday, the problems were fixed and the building passed a city inspection.
Some restoration work will continue after the residents' return to the building, Rock Falls Building Inspector Mark Searing said.
"There is still some work to do with the elevators, but one of them is working," Searing said. "They will be doing some things like putting up some drywall, but they are all things that can easily be done with the residents there."
Clyde Long brought back his mother to Civic Plaza II shortly after 1 p.m.
While most tenants stayed at Days Inn since the subsidized housing was evacuated, Ruby Long, 94, went to her son's home.
"[The residents] are all happy to be back," Clyde said. "There's no place like home. It was an inconvenience. My mother said she's never leaving again."
Many tenants brought their belongings back in with grocery carts that are available at Civic Plaza. Residents said they were allowed to pick up items during the evacuation as long as the manager was around.
One 71-year-old man said the staff at Days Inn was "super nice" and that he felt bad because at least one Civic Plaza resident had given employees a hard time.
Some of his neighbors, he said, are all right, while others "don't know how to act."