Residents Of Sand Springs Mobile Home Unable To Return Home
SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma - More than a week after historic flooding, families from a Sand Springs mobile home park still haven’t been able to see what is left of their homes.
City Commissioners are trying to come up with a plan but say the ball is really in the property owner’s court. Families living in the River Oaks Mobile Home Park met with Commissioner Karen Keith on Wednesday to talk about a possible plan for the future. Families say they left feeling upset.
Keith says the meeting was important to keep families updated and let them know what resources they can utilize.
"It hasn't hit yet probably because I haven't been able to go back in my house," said flooding victim April Berumen.
This stretch of flood water is the only thing between April and what is left of her home.
"It wasn't much but it was ours. We could come home at night and sleep peacefully, not have to worry about it. We don't have that now," said Berumen, "We had over 5 feet of water. We lost everything."
It has been 8 days since seven families have seen the inside of their homes. They don't know what is left, what is salvageable, what they still need to grieve.
"You feel useless. You feel like you can't do anything because we can't get to our homes. We can't even close off this chapter in our lives because of this," said flood victim Amber McDaniels.
Resources have been coming into neighboring communities but families at River Oaks say they haven’t had much help.
Emergency crews say FEMA is ready to help but the Mobile Home Park is on private property and that fact alone is making things legally difficult to get more resources in.
"Someone is making money off of that property and so as a commercial business, it is up to that business owner to take responsibility for his own cleanup. I legally can't ask the taxpayer to share the burden of that responsibility," said Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Joseph Kralicek.
Officials say they have been meeting with the owner trying to help him come up with a plan on how he is going to help take care of his park and the debris. In the meantime, families at the mobile home park are trying to watch out for each other, they are cleaning up what they can, lugging debris to dumpsters, trying to get rid of the water so they can go home.