Grand Rapids, MI (WZZM) - The flood waters are receding but owners of the Plaza Towers Building in downtown Grand Rapids can't say when close to 1,000 residents and guests can return.
"It's not safe, at this point, to go in there," explains building owner Paul Heule.
The condominium and hotel hi-rise was evacuated Saturday when the basement and garage flooded.
Crews are pumping the water out at the same slow pace the river is receding to avoid damaging a big concrete city sewage pipe.
In the meantime, the hotel can't reopen and the codominium and apartment residents can't return.
"I have a friend I'm staying with until I can figure out how long this is going to be," says 25th floor resident Sarah Rooney. "I don' t think they really know how long it's going to be."
City administrators and the building owner say, although they can't provide a definite date when residents can return to the Towers, they don't anticipate a long delay.
"I can't give a timeline because it depends on environmental factors," says Assistant City Manager Eric DeLong. "It's a very intricate and delicate dance we are involved with here but it's one we believe we know how to do."
Pumping the water out too quickly could undermine and possibly crack the city's concrete sanitary sewer pipe.
"We are not preparing for months and years here," says Heule. "The river has already receded a foot in one day. The big concern is that we do not impact the rest of our community by pumping out too quickly, having the sewer be an issue."
Residents are also concerned about items in basement storage areas that may or may not be covered by insurance.
"I had 2 very expensive pieces of art in there," says Rooney.
"Those people that are faced with different situations we will handle on a case by case basis," says Heule. "It is our intention to assist wherever we can."