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Neighbors from Rock Creek Woods Apartments living in hotels after flooding

Many of the residents fear returning to the same building where they experienced trauma.

ROCKVILLE, Md. — It’s been three weeks since flash flooding in the middle of the night caused massive flooding in Rockville. Several residents in the Rock Creek Woods Apartments woke up to their apartments filled with water with only a few feet of air left to breathe—some losing everything.

Melissa Walters was one of those residents. Now, she said even the slightest amount of rain makes her nervous.

“Even my mom says when it's raining out, she she's scared, you know, because it brings back the memories of what happened Sept. 1," Walters said.

Walters said the floods from that day drenched more than her belongings. She, along with her parents and niece, lost everything that morning. Now they’re living in a hotel. She said her former apartment complex paid for the first week of their stay and Montgomery County is now footing the rest of the bill until they’re able to return home.

“Four of us in one room, you only have so much space," Walters said. "I have my clothes in bins and food that people have given to us, like chips, stuff to snack on."

Zulema Gonzalez lived on the third floor of one of the flooded buildings. Due to damage to the basement-level apartments, she and her family are also living in a hotel. 

“I remember when I woke I like 3:50 in the morning, and I heard, like some people yelling ‘help, help’ and when I opened the window, and I see like a man, he [was] trying to go to the second floor,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said she only lived in the apartments with her husband and 6-year-old daughter for three months before the flooding, and now the family is trying to decide their next move. 

"[My daughter,] she's scared," Gonzalez said. "She didn't want to go back to the apartment." 

Both Walters and Gonzalez said Rock Creek Woods Apartments has been in contact with them, but Walters and her family are nervous to live in another basement-level apartment, as the fear of rising waters is forever etched in their minds.

“We just went through a traumatic event in the basement," Walters said. "Why would I want to go to another basement? My mom said she lost everything, we lost everything in one basement. Why go to another one so it can happen to us again?”

RELATED: Family identifies 19-year-old who died in Rockville apartment flooding

RELATED: Interfaith Works gets $1,500 donation to help support Rockville flood victims

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