State orders a fix for run-off problems at Lake Isabella mobile home park
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) —
Neighbors in Lake Isabella say too much winter run-off has been flowing through their mobile home park, and they're worried about hazards and damage. On Wednesday, a state inspector issued a notice of violation and ordered the park owners to find a solution.
Residents of the Lake Ridge park say water started running into their yards and under their homes about a month ago.
"It started coming under the sheds, and then under my home," Sandra Smith told Eyewitness News on Wednesday. "And then, all flowing through the street."
The park is in the 2800 block of Erskine Creek Road, and residents say the hillside above them is the source of the excess water.
Park manager Kathie Troolines took Eyewitness News to a spot above the homes, and it's an area of soggy ground and streams of water. She thinks the water's coming from springs up the hill, and below the area of last summer's Erskine Fire.
On Wednesday, the state Department of Housing and Community Development issued their report, and it also points to the problem of natural run-off.
"There are homes within the park that are being affected by the effects of naturally occurring springs that have surfaced to the top of the ground due to the high amount of rainfall during the winter months," the report reads, listing the units involved.
"Some of the water has migrated under the homes which may cause the soil to become unstable which may cause the homes to become unleveled," the report continues.
That's exactly what worries some residents. Smith said one neighbor now has cracks in his unit, and he thinks that's being caused by the supports shifting in the soggy soil.
Another resident has the same complaint. She showed Eyewitness News where water has gone under her unit. She got water pumped out on Tuesday, but minutes later there was more water coming out from under the manufactured home.
That resident was using a sump pump provided by the park manager. Troolines said they got the first pump on Tuesday, hoped to get another one soon, and they would provide pumps to any residents wanting one.
Some neighbors complain the water flow has been a problem for more than a month, and park owners haven't helped them.
Several residents have dug trenches through their yards, hoping to route the water away from their homes. They had to do that on their own.
"The water problem isn't so much as we're being ignored," resident Faith Morrison said. She said the fact that the park brought in a sump pump is nice, but complains it took a long time to get any attention.
The park manager said she has been checking with water and utility spokesmen trying to pin down the source of the water and what should be done.
But, as the water continues to get under the homes, residents also worry about what could happen next.
"We feel that there will be mold," Morrison said, "and mosquitoes."
The park manager said the owners will bring in fans to dry out under the units as soon as the water stops.
Some residents complain they should get some discounts off their rent, because of the problems. Others want park owners to repair damage to their yards,
And some note that while they own the mobile homes or manufactured houses, it's the park that owns the property, and they should be responsible for it.
The state inspector's report says the park owner must "consult with a geologist within 30 days to determine a method of correction to abate" the problem.
Some neighbors also say run-off like this happened 12 years ago, and also about 20 years ago. They think the park owners need to find a solution to prevent this kind of damage from happening in the future.
Resident Maxine Hauser said something must be done. "There has to be a way to fix it," she said. "It's just a matter of time."