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People searching for new places to live as Lovell Crossing Apartments ends leases due to tornado damage

After August 7th's destructive tornado, the apartment complex said it needed to move residents out in order to rebuild buildings that were badly damaged.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — One moment Donald Caldwell was in his car driving home from church and the next moment he was in the path of a tornado.

"I honestly thought I was going to die," said Caldwell.

An EF-2 tornado swept through the Lovell Crossing apartment complex in West Knox County on Aug. 7, destroying it.

His car was only left with a minor scratch, but when Donald stepped out of his car, he saw the place he called home in ruins. 

The winds tore apart roofs and shattered windows, bringing devastation to the Lovell Crossing apartments and the community around the complex. Around 400 people were displaced and waiting to hear what they'd need to do next.

For some, the next step will be finding a new place to live because their apartment was badly damaged.

Donald and his family received an email from Lovell Crossing Apartments which said:

"Lovell Crossing Apartments, LLC, has elected to terminate your lease and has authorized us to send you this letter on its behalf." The letter would go on to explain, "The decision to terminate the lease was due to the significant damage our community experienced." 

"I told my wife that this was the last place that I ever wanted to live at... so much for that comment, the Lord now has another plan for us," said Caldwell.

Some neighbors we spoke with are upset with what they said was too quick of a timeline to move out and find a new place to live.

Other neighbors said that they understand the rush to get people out.

"In order to repair the building safely we have to get out, I don't think they are doing it trying to be mean or anything, it's just how it is," said former resident Mikayla Lovin. 

Some of the people who live at Lovell Crossing have been in a state of uncertainty for the past couple of weeks, but now they are pushing forward.

"The last two weeks have felt like a nightmare, now it seems like there's a light at the end of the tunnel, we found a new place and are ready to put this behind us," said Lovin.

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