WEST ORANGE — Six weeks after what was left of Hurricane Ida tore through the Garden State, a domino effect of damage has caused at least 45 families to be abruptly evacuated and evicted from their homes in a township apartment complex.

CBS New York reported that following the sudden mass exodus authorized by West Orange officials late Monday night, tenants were told at a meeting Thursday that the structure would have to be demolished.

The residents have been put up in hotel rooms, but in the relatively short term, they'll have to find new dwellings. The CBS New York report said that they were refunded their security deposits and October rent at Thursday's meeting.

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Why such swift action, a month and a half after so much other damage was incurred elsewhere?

According to CBS New York, a tree fell on the building when the storm hit on Sept. 1, which resulted in a rockslide that totaled some cars. Four families were evacuated from their units at that time.

But after that, residents said everything seemed back to normal — until Monday night.

And it turns out the request for tenants to leave, however quick it was, might not have been quick enough. CBS New York reported that engineering firm Langan first told the township of potential problems on Friday, Oct. 8, three full days before anyone came to residents' doors.

Those problems included, an earlier CBS New York report said, the rockslide knocking part of the building off its foundation.

No timetable has been set for demolition, but residents have been told they will be able to remove their belongings prior to that happening, according to CBS New York.

West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi has launched an online, nonprofit fund through the township's website to assist affected renters.

Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com.

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