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Mystic Woods Condo residents and workers call for help amid tornado damage in Tallahassee

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – Four days after tornadoes caused extensive damage in Leon County, emergency crews worked around the clock to get people back on their feet.

Meanwhile, significant damage was seen at a condo complex in West Tallahassee. Since Friday's storms, many residents of the Mystic Woods Condos near West Pensacola Street have had to find new homes.

Most of the complex looked the same Monday as it did Friday when WCTV was last at the complex, just hours after the tornadoes hit. Many trees have fallen throughout the property, particularly on or within the residential units.

To get out of the complex, residents also drove across the property on the sidewalk.

People in the complex, including Leo White Jr., are screaming for help.

“These aren’t just limbs. “These are mature trees lying around out here,” White said. “You can’t just pick them up. You need some equipment. You need some help. Period. Until then, it will look like this. Chaotic.”

It's been a long four days for White after damage from the tornadoes forced him from his home. He remembers getting out and having to move out of the way as trees and rain fell around him.

“I didn’t want it to fall on me or hurt me, so the best thing I could do was get out,” White said.

Katherine Helms is another of dozens believed to have been forced out of their units.

“I was speechless,” Helms said.

On Monday, rainwater filled their lights, worsening the damage their unit had already suffered on Friday.

“This complex is probably the worst I’ve seen in the city,” Helms said.

She's worried about what might come next.

“We’re just stuck waiting to see what happens with the insurance,” Helms said. “What is covered when it is covered? If it’s not covered, we’re just a bit on the creek.”

Maintenance workers like Dakota Beltran and Zackary Carnahan trimmed tree branches and patched roofs Monday.

“It was really scary,” Carnahan said, recalling the aftermath of Friday’s storms in Mystic Woods. “You didn’t know what you were getting yourself into.”

Both Beltran and Carnahan take it day by day.

“We’re just going to do what we can, little by little,” Beltran said. “We don’t have proper equipment to fell trees safely. We don't have proper equipment to move them. We still have a lot of tenants living in buildings without electricity.”

For Beltran, storm recovery is personal after losing a family member during Hurricane Michael.

“If I can do anything to help someone who isn't feeling it, or feel comfort that someone cares about them and wants to help them even if they can't do much, that feeling is very important,” Beltran said.

Troy Carver, the property manager for Mystic Woods, also told WCTV he headed to Dothan to try to get large tarps for the property.

After Friday's tornadoes, Carver also said he reached out to officials from the city of Tallahassee, Leon County, the state of Florida and the Red Cross asking for help. He told WCTV that he was still waiting for a response as of Monday evening.

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Anna Harden

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