NORTHPORT, Ala. (WIAT) – One week since Tropical Storm Claudette ripped through a mobile home park in the city, residents still have a long way toward recovery.
All week, crews have been working to clean up the sand that was left behind by last weekend’s storm. They’ve been piling the sand up like snow to clear a path as residents at the Willow Brook Mobile Home Park clean up and even move out of their homes.
“Before I got back, it done flooded the whole trailer park,” resident Tommy Clark said.
Clark was out running a quick errand last Saturday, and when he returned home less than 30 minutes later, water was up to his porch.
“It was probably between 15 and 20 minutes of a good, hard steady rain and it was just waist deep out here in no time,” Clark said.
The water left a mess in its wake – tearing homes off their foundations – making them uninhabitable.
“I don’t even really know what to do, really. It’s just a mess,” Clark said. “I didn’t get it as bad as a lot of other folks got it. A lot of other folks completely lost everything, but it’s been hectic just crazy and stressful.”
Not only did water get inside Clark’s home, but it was as high as the vents in his car, still leaving traces behind. Inside other homes, fans run at full speed, trying to dry out any remaining water that has buckled the floor. The Manuel family lost their kitchen cabinets.
Sand marks the path of destruction through the neighborhood. Clark said he has seen quite a bit of flooding during his time here, but this time, it’s going to force him out for good as his home and cars are a total loss.
“Ain’t much I can do but just try to find somewhere else to go for real and try to start over,” Clark said. “That’s all any of us can do for real.”
The City of Northport issued the following statement regarding the homes at the mobile home park:
“To preserve life and protect property, both public and private, as well as promote the general welfare of the general public, the City of Northport will allow the temporary occupancy of those structures located within the FEMA floodway and flood fringe within the Willow Brook Mobile Home Park. Owners and tenants will be given notice of this allowance for temporary occupancy in order to become compliant with existing regulations. The City of Northport will actively seek local, state, and federal assistance for tenant relocation and property acquisition for flood hazard mitigation.”
Residents can continue to get help from the American Red Cross by calling 1-800-Red-Cross.