Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management director Joyce Flinn on Wednesday said FEMA has had difficulty negotiating leases with the owners of mobile home parks in southwest Iowa.
“Two units were installed in a commercial park in Glenwood and six other pads have been leased at that location,” Flinn said yesterday during a meeting of the governor’s Flood Advisory Board. “The problem that FEMA is running into with a lot of these pads or these locations is the electric is not up to standard, so they’re going to have to redo the electric before they can put units in there and be sure that they’re going to provide the support to the citizens that they need.”
FEMA has identified other lots for its trailers in mobile home parks in Red Oak and Shenandoah, according to Flinn, but the trailers aren’t yet installed.
Flinn said 333 Iowans have qualified to move into a FEMA trailer, however all but 36 of them have told FEMA they’re currently living in a “safe” situation — like a relative or friend’s home — so they are automatically disqualified from getting on the list for a FEMA trailer. Flinn said flood victims need to tell FEMA their “situation has changed” if they want to live in the temporary housing FEMA can provide.
Larry Winum, president and CEO of the Glenwood State Bank, said there’s uncertainty about what federal help may be available to rebuild or buy-out flooded properties that are condemned.
“Nobody knows what the guidelines are,” Winum said during yesterday’s Flood Advisory Board meeting.
Southwest Iowans who were flooded out of their homes in March are still waiting for officials to determine if their homes can be rehabilitated or are so damaged they must be destroyed. This past Monday, inspectors from the state Fire Marshal’s Office began to assess 150 structures in Pacific Junction.