Flood Evacuees Running Out of Time at County Shelter

UPDATE: The families evacuated from their now-condemned mobile homes in Holly Acres mobile home park in Prince William County, Va., will get a new shelter Friday.

They were in danger of getting tossed on the street, as the shelter at the Dale City Rec Center is closing Friday.

The American Red Cross and the First Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Dumfries. The shelter will be at the church Friday through Sept. 23.

Dozens of Virginia flood victims are worried that Prince William County will leave them high and dry.

More than 150 residents evacuated from Holly Acres mobile home park due to Tropical Storm Lee-related flooding last week are homeless, their mobile homes condemned. On Friday, the county-run shelter that’s housed them the past few days will close.

“I don’t have any money, I don’t have any savings, I don’t have any way to get a new place, a new home because I lost it all,” Patricia Ochoa said.

Usually, the Red Cross and the county provides 72 hours of shelter in a situation like this, Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart said. That’s been extended by about a week.

“Unfortunately, we cannot use that county facility later than next Friday and we have to lay down a very clear message that people have to go out and they have to find new homes, and we will try to help them, but as of Friday, that option will no longer be available,” Stewart said.

That’s not enough time, many former Holly Acres residents said.

of those here, say that’s not enough time…and are begging for the county to extend the deadline. Chris Joseph’s home is okay, but sees the suffering of his neighbors.

“I don’t think that’s right,” said Chris Joseph, whose home is find but who is concerned for his neighbors. “That’s not the American way. That’s not the American way. I mean we reach out and help other foreign countries, we need to help people that’s in our country, America.”

Holly Acres is 40 years old and sits on a flood plain. The county has condemned much of the mobile home park, and residents will not be allowed to rebuild.

Holly Acres owner Henry Ridge cried foul.

“The flood was not the cause of Holly Acres,” he said. “There’s a reason for it, and it’s been a lack of action by the county -- and we have had that documented where we have addressed this over the years. Do your job. Clean this up.”

At a packed Board of Supervisors meeting, Stewart took issue with the accusation that the county doesn’t care.

“The owner of that trailer park, with all due respect hasn’t been there in 10 years,” he said. “He doesn’t live here. He really should have been taking better care of his residents, in my opinion.”

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