Trailer Park Residents May Get New Homes

By: Damon Dillman
By: Damon Dillman

Nancy McGilvery lives in Critzer Trailer Park in Waynesboro, where nearly six months later, Hurricane Isabel's handywork is still evident.

"From just the other side of 19 there, all the way down, there was floodwater standing there," she said, pointing at the now vacant trailers to her left. "They came through and red-tagged all but ours and the last one here on the end."

"Some of the trailers in this lower section, with water from six inches to 24 inches, depending on how elevated they are," explained Tom Carlsson, of the Waynesboro Housing Authority. "And so those were the units that were condemned. Fourteen trailer units were condemned."

Isabel marked the sixth time that floodwaters forced residents at the trailer park out of their homes. That's why the Waynesboro Housing Authority is applying for state and federal grant money to move them to safer locations.

"And that will be a location that's free from flooding, and in a location of their own choosing," said Carlsson.

The authority is applying for two separate grants - one through FEMA, and the other through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Carlsson says the applications are due in March, and he hopes to find out this summer if Waynesboro is awarded any money.

Some residents have mixed feelings about possibly getting moved.

"In a way it's good, but in a way it's bad," said Crystal Samano. "Because this is really the only place I've been, and I know everybody here."

"I think they understand, while there may be some inconvenience in moving, it's a fresh start," said Carlsson.

And McGilvery says she's ready to start packing.

"I don't want no more water in here," she said. "That's what I'm afraid of - next time we won't be so lucky."


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