(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Residents at a St. Joseph mobile home park said Thursday they have had no running water for the past three days.
City officials said a sewer leak at the Meadows Mobile Homes Park had to be fixed before it became a health and safety issue to the surrounding area. But locating and working on the leak meant shutting off water to the sixty families that live at the trailer park.
“The only way we can tell where the blockage is is where the water is standing,” property manager Cristen McDonell said Thursday afternoon. “If our families are still using the sewer and making the water stand, then we don’t know where the blockage is.”
McDonell said she made the tough decision Monday night to get the City to shut off the water. The property manager also said fixing the water problems was delayed this week because she couldn’t find a plumber who would agree to do the work on short notice.
“We brought our own excavator because the only plumber in town who could come said the earliest he could come would be tomorrow,” she said. “I was told by another plumber that even with an emergency and 60 families, the earliest they could come was the 16th of August."
McDonnell said her crew dug up the street with its own equipment and had located a block in the sewer line. She said in addition to manual labor, her team was assisting in passing out gallon jugs, and packs of water bottles to the trailer park residents.
But some residents felt the property manager should and could have done more.
“Come live in the sewage we live in,” resident Catrinea Cobb said. “Treat your tenants how you want to be treated."
Cobb said she was struggling to feed, bathe, and provide adequate care for her children because of the water issues and triple-digit heat.
“I'm not able to give them a bath. They can't flush the toilet. Porta-Potties, we have two for the whole trailer park. One, two trailers from me and one, above.” she said of the mobile bathrooms provided by the Meadows. “They expect everyone to use that. They sit in the sun. It’s like going into a sewer sauna."
McDonell said she was getting more Porta-Potties delivered to the property Thursday and that she hadn’t anticipated the work going so long that they would need additional bathrooms.
Residents of the mobile home park tell KQ2, they wish they had been given a heads up about the maintenance work. If they had been given more notice, maybe they could have made other arrangements.
“We’re up here for a reason,” Cobb said. “We can’t afford things. My family desperately needs help but I don’t have the money today to do anything about it.”
McDonell said she was working with the City and hoped to have the water back on at the property by Thursday evening.