At the start of this ABC News video is this apt phrase. Leaving Paradise (CA), there is “hell on earth.”
Mother Jones yesterday called “the Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history.”
As 2018 winds down, hurricanes, tornadoes and California wild fires are among the disasters that displaced tens of thousands of people in the Golden State, plus thousands more in other areas from coast to coast.
The video unfortunately uses the “trailer” word and may or may not be appropriately use the term “mobile home.”
Al Kemp, Executive Director from the MHPO community-owners trade association in BC, Canada wrote to MHProNews earlier today on a different topic, but his words apply equally well in this case with ABC’s report
But beyond irksome nomenclature faux pas by ABC, is the tragic impact on lives of fire’s gone wild.
“We’re trying to have a Christmas, you know, in any way shape or form that we can,” Nicole Hoenig told ABC News. “It’s just everyone doing the best they can, trying to give your kids whatever you can to help them feel normal.”
The Camp Fire started on Nov. 8, said ABC, with neighborhoods quickly going up in flames. Cars were burnt, housing both conventional and factory-built were devastated. Often ash and debris were the markers where housing once stood.
Winds reached 50 mph, fueling flames that the Trump Administration says was caused by poor forest management, while environmentalists want to pin the blame on global warming.
In 17 days, 153,000 acres were burned and at least 86 died. Paradise was the hardest hit.
FEMA MHUs for Emergency Relief
In an already tight housing market, the loss of 14,000 housing units to the Camp Fire made a bad situation worse.
“Everything is in upheaval mode right now,” Ed Mayer, the executive director of the Butte County Housing Authority, said. “Fire’s out but now we’re dealing with a secondary crisis — Not enough housing.”
He Mayer said that before the Camp Fire struck, the housing authority thought there “was around one and a half [to] two percent vacancy rate.”
“All of those units were instantly absorbed by those coming out of the fire. So there really is no housing availability locally at all. Nothing,” Mayer stated.
ABC referred to as “price gouging and bidding wars have become the norm for residents who lost everything, but have the means to rebuild.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has roughly 2,000 temporary units at the ready for Butte County. But the problem is placement.
“Not everyone wants to have a FEMA-manufactured home complex behind their house,” Mayer said.
Rephrased, even during a tragedy, it seems that many are taking a NIMBYite view of even temporary, emergency use FEMA manufactured homes.
Residents have been cautioned against moving trailers onto their properties without basic infrastructure where their homes once stood because much of the areas may contain toxic ash.
Additionally, not everyone is qualified for federal help, beyond the need for infrastructure – utilities, pad, and roads – that are needed.
Daniel Wynne, an external affairs technical specialist at FEMA, said the process can be confusing but ultimately FEMA is there “to assist in long-term recovery.”
Businesses and workplaces were among the losses, not just housing.
As the challenges of FEMA MHU placement and other related issues become clearer, MHProNews could update this report in the days ahead. That’s this evening’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News , analysis, and commentary.)
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