Some FEMA Trailer Park Residents Say Conditions Are Getting Dangerous

Some Hancock County residents say the living conditions in their FEMA Trailer Park are deplorable. The park is located off of Lakeshore Road near Gulfview Elementary School. Residents there say broken water pipes and exposed sewer tanks are creating a health hazard.

A pair of rubber boots and old jeans have become standard attire for Gene Caylor every time he leaves his FEMA trailer.

"It's just a muddy mess," Gene Caylor said.

He says broken water pipes below the ground are creating major problems for the people living there.

"For one thing, the elderly, handicapped people have a very hard time getting in and out of their trailers and their parking areas."

Cathy Albert, 71, is one of those having a tough time maneuvering through the mud.

"It's real bad. Everything is wet over here. I had to get a friend of mine yesterday, a young girl, to put some bricks down for me and borrowed some stairs from somebody," Albert said. "I fell over here one time. I don't need to fall again."

Caylor says it's a bad situation.

"This leak has been going on now for three weeks and you get very little response out of them."

He says the standing water in the trailer park is causing sewer holding tanks to pop out of the ground.

"This one is floating out of the ground. And they put weights on it to hold it down because once it gets out of the ground completely, raw sewerage [will be] on the ground. So it's a desperate health hazard, really."

Caylor says the problem is the water pipes were not buried deep enough, creating more problems when the sewerage vacuum trucks come through.

"Which is a very heavy truck and when it goes through here it makes deep ruts and presses down on the water pipes and breaks the water mains."

Residents say they can only hope for relief soon and look forward to the day they can leave their trailers without needing boots.

A spokesperson at the FEMA maintenance call center in Maryland told us they had received three calls about the standing water and plans are in the works to fix the problem.

by Al Showers