Safety concerns prevent storage unit access

Pro Storage off S. Division Avenue in Wyoming. (July 8, 2014)

WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — Hundreds of people who have units at a S. Division Avenue storage facility have not been allowed onto the property to access their belongings since Sunday night’s storm and tornado.

The owner of Pro Storage in Wyoming said that’s because it is still not safe.

“It’s all about safety. It has nothing do with us not wanting to let the customers in to get their stuff. Absolutely not,” said owner Rob Calkins.

The storm damaged roofing and may have weakened structural integrity at some of the units.

“I came by here and its like,’Oh my God.’ This is where I have my life, history. I just started crying. I broke down. I just can’t handle it,” said Amy Smith.

Smith has years’ worth of memories and family heirlooms locked up in her unit.

“I know it’s not my house, but I have memories in there of my childhood — things that my dad gave me, my mother, and they both passed away. I want to get that stuff out of there. I want that choice,” Smith said.

The owner of the property said his company is taking precautions to protect people’s property. He said tarps have been put on roofs where there was damage. Security has been on the property overnight and the fence was being replaced Tuesday night.

Calkins said people likely won’t be let back onto the property until sometime Wednesday.

“The reason is, is because the damage structurally has caused some issues with the building and we want to make sure their safety is first and foremost. Materials and items can be replaced. Lives can’t,” said Calkins.

Calkins said a construction crew will be on the property Wednesday to secure the buildings and take down parts of the buildings that need to come down.

“I sympathize with our renters. They are important customers to us, everyone, all in the same. Again, once it’s safe they can come in,” Calkins said.

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