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Future Still Uncertain For Many PW Co. Flood Victims

 
Most of a mobile home park in Woodbridge, Va. is being bulldozed after last week's heavy rains. The homes were condemned by Prince William County after severe flooding affected the park.
Jonathan Wilson
  Most of a mobile home park in Woodbridge, Va. is being bulldozed after last week's heavy rains. The homes were condemned by Prince William County after severe flooding affected the park.

Woodbridge mobile home residents who lost their homes in last week's flooding may get a little more time to find somewhere to live, but it's still unclear how money set aside for temporary housing will be spent.

A shelter set up at the Dale City recreation center  was supposed to close at 5 p.m today, and leaders in Prince William County say they've allocated an additional $40,000 to help the victims of last week's flooding.

Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chair Corey Stewart says the money should be enough to keep a new temporary shelter at the First Mount Zion Baptist Church in Dumfries open for two weeks.  Stewart says this is a great example of the public and private sector working together to help those most in need.

"The churches, individual citizens, and the county have gotten together collectively and are providing for their needs as they locate new housing," Stewart says.

But Cheryl Kravitz, the Red Cross' regional coordinator, says the organization has not received the money the yet.  She also says the Red Cross has not determined exactly how it will use the money from the county because assistance for families is made on a case by case basis.

At the Holly Acres Mobile Home park, trailers lie where last week's floodwaters left them -- some overturned completely, others smashed in half. On Thursday, bulldozers and backhoes began the work of demolishing the 101 trailers condemned after the flood.

It was a sight that worried Francisco Rivera, who didn't know the demolition was starting. Speaking through a translator, he says he lost nearly everything in the flood, and now he feels like he's losing the rest.

Rivera has a job and relatives he can stay with as he looks for a new place. But many families who lived in Holly Acres don't, and they worry that it will take them longer than 2 weeks to find new homes.

Many say they'd like the federal government to chip in disaster funding, but it's still unclear whether the flooding was widespread enough to qualify for FEMA relief.

WAMU 88.5

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