quake aftermath

Mobile home park residents struggle with damage

2014-08-31T16:31:00Z 2014-08-31T18:23:27Z Mobile home park residents struggle with damageKerana Todorov ktodorov@napanews.com Napa Valley Register

The closest Anita Cabrera could get to being home on Friday was watering plants and sweeping the area in front of her unit at Salvador Mobile Estates in north Napa.

She’s not allowed inside.

The mobile home she shares with her landlord and roommate was red-tagged after last week’s earthquake. Cabrera, 42, a student at Napa Valley College and her roommate are now staying with friends and relatives. She does not expect to return home soon.

Repairs have been estimated at $8,900, money they don’t have.

“I’ve got all my basic necessities in the car down the street,” said Cabrera, who is looking for a loan available to low-income residents to pay for the repairs.

The damage at mobile home parks has displaced dozens of residents. As of Wednesday, representatives for the California Housing and Community Development (HCD) had red-tagged 22 mobile homes at three mobile home parks in Napa: two at Salvador Mobile Estates on Salvador Avenue, 11 at Newell’s Mobile City, a park adjacent to Salvador, and nine at Napa Valley Mobile Home Park on Orchard Avenue, where four structures burned to the ground last Sunday.

The state agency has jurisdiction over mobile home parks in the quake-affected areas of Napa, American Canyon and Yountville.

The state inspectors, who are temporarily based at Newells’s Mobile City, also have yellow-tagged 41 mobile homes at the same three parks and one more at Fairgrounds in American Canyon, meaning the residents are advised to enter only with caution.

More homes are expected to be yellow-tagged, inspectors say.

“While the number of ‘prohibited occupancy’(red tagged) units will likely not go higher, we expect the number of ‘restricted use’ (yellow) units to increase significantly,” HCD spokeswoman Evan Gerberding said Thursday.

On Friday, at Newell’s Mobile City, Cherie Ruggle and her daughter, Cherise Crawford headed out to help clean debris from the quake at Yountville Seventh-day Adventist Church to prepare the church for Saturday’s Sabbath. They said they feel blessed.

While their mobile home sustained some damage and they have glass inside their house to pick up, their 1971 mobile home is still standing, and both residents were uninjured.

“This isn’t spring cleaning, it is fall cleaning,” said Ruddle, 71.

They had placed baby safety latches and brackets to stabilize heavy furniture after the last major earthquake in 2000.

Ruddle, who has owned the mobile home for 20 years, said one of the two previous owners of her mobile home had installed an earthquake support system underneath it.

Still, in spite of the earthquake support, bricks underneath their mobile home shifted. Their to-do list includes hiring a licensed contractor who specializes to work on mobile homes to make the repairs.

“You’re getting tired because you’re going on adrenaline,” said Ruddle, of her state at the end of a long week.

All mobile homes should have an earthquake protection system, she also said.

“If you go down, and the gas explodes, like it happened down there,” Ruddle said, referring to the blaze that destroyed four mobile homes at Napa Valley Mobile Home Park, “you’re jeopardizing my home and homes around you.”

Crawford, however, notes a lot of low-income families live at their mobile home park. “They don’t have the money for earthquake insurance. They don’t have the money to put earthquake support systems when they buy the house,” said Crawford, 43.

“So a lot of these homes went down just because they can’t afford to do it, and probably won’t fix it ... So then they’re going to go down the next time,” she said.

At Salvador Mobile Estates, Belen San Vicente, her son, daughter-in-law and their school-age sons have been staying with friends since their mobile home, purchased last summer, was yellow-tagged Monday.

San Vincente, 81, said her family wants a loan from Bank of America to make the repairs to their mobile home, which has sustained about $10,800 worth of damages.

“I was so scared I thought the whole house would fall on us,” she said.

The contractor is coming Tuesday but the grandchildren want to come home soon.

She is, nonetheless, grateful for the help from the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross, who have visited the park, offering food and cleaning supplies.

“I feel somewhat happy and relieved because there are people who really care about us,” she said.

Copyright 2015 Napa Valley Register. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(6) Comments

  1. ridesingsmile
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    ridesingsmile - August 31, 2014 5:52 pm
    Redwood Credit Union has announced they will be offering no interest loans for earthquake damage.
  2. Fleece Finder
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    Fleece Finder - August 31, 2014 7:19 pm
    And how many residents have a FICO score of 700+. Looks like FEMA to me.
  3. BV78
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    BV78 - August 31, 2014 8:23 pm
    Travis Credit Union is offering loans for people affected with the earthquake as well...
  4. Jpollock
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    Jpollock - August 31, 2014 9:44 pm
    Check with mark Barlow at mobile magic, his office is on Jefferson, he specializes with loans on mobile homes in park
  5. funnyme
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    funnyme - September 01, 2014 7:01 am
    So where is all the "donated" money from the Raiders (even though $50k from such enterprise is laughable), Vintners, and many other great souls going to go to if not to those who have become homeless after a natural disaster?

    Once HCD's inspectors kick people out of their modest homes, is there a plan on how to help the victims of such disaster or they just shrug their shoulders and claim "we're just doing our job ma'm" and go home on time for dinner?

    Can the NVR follow up and keep us updated on what happens next to the people who've been tagged?
  6. Truth Addict
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    Truth Addict - September 01, 2014 3:33 pm
    Your comment is embarrassing. The Raiders organization didn't have to donate anything! We should appreciate every penny that has been given to our community, regardless of the wealth of the donor.
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