COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – It has been 20 days since residents at a local mobile home park have been able to take a bath, wash their dishes, or flush their toilets.
For the past three weeks, residents at Sea Breeze Mobile Home Park have been without the daily necessity of running water.
News 3 spoke with residents on July 9, who said their water hasn’t worked since July 4. Resident Jeffery Williams said he still can’t take care of his daily hygiene.
“I have an eight-year-old at the house, I also have my wife at home and I can barely even really fill the water in the bathtub,” Williams said.
Due to the situation, Williams had to find somewhere else for him and his family to stay.
“I had to spend three days in the hotel, me and my eight-year-old and my wife. That was money coming out of our pocket. I already paid my mortgage and everything, ever since the 4th of July you can barely get any water,” Williams said.
Williams told News 3 being without running water is a nightmare.
“It’s just like pain and suffering, they said the owners were supposed to come down here and talk to everybody about seeing who they can give free rent or whatever. But they have COVID-19 on the office and the office is closed, you can’t talk to nobody or nothing,” Williams said.
News 3 spoke with the mobile home park’s Massachusetts-based management, and they said the maintenance staff and office staff are out due to COVID-19, which has caused a delay in residents getting their water fixed.
Several residents who wanted to remain anonymous said management has not addressed the water situation since July 4. They haven’t been told what is causing the problem or when it will be repaired.
One resident said her grandmother has not been able to take a bath in a week.
Residents say they have reached out to several local resources for help but keep getting the runaround.
Resident Kiafa Weatherspoon said he reached out to the Columbus Health Department, but they were of no help.
“They told me to call Columbus Water Works and I called them and they told me they’re independent with their own water,” Weatherspoon said.
The Columbus Health Department told News 3 they’re unable to help residents because the mobile home is out of their jurisdiction.
Resident Betty Parker said she’s made several phone calls as well.
“I actually called the Councilmen, she suggested I call the water company. Which I did, they told me they didn’t have anything to do with it because it’s a privately owned park,”
Parker said she’s unsure as to who owns the mobile park.
“Someone just bought the park, we don’t even know who they are,” Parker said.
But Parker and Weatherspoon both said they feel like no one wants to help them or the other residents.
“I feel like I’m black, so I definitely feel targeted, I’m not trying to make it about that. But I feel like if this was a white suburban neighborhood, it would’ve been bigger than what it is. But I just feel like, well trailer parker trash or whatever the case may be, we’re not worried about it,” Weatherspoon said.
“Forgot about, we’ve just forgotten about,” Parker said.
Another resident, who wants to remain anonymous, said the park has given some occupants a giant water hose to run through their home. The hose, however, is spewing out brown muddy water, leaving them unable to efficiently use the water to drink, cook, or take a bath.
Initially, at the beginning of the ordeal, residents were provided with a case of water by management at the park, but nothing has been provided since then.
“Very, very, very straining. We have to go to the gas station to get bottles of water, to have to drink and I have pets that I have to give water to and other people do too. A lot of people don’t even have cars to be able to go and get water,” Parker said.
Residents say they’re at a loss for words.
“I mean, I just don’t know what to say though about the water. Somebody needs to do something about it,” Williams said.
News 3 also spoke with the Inspection and Code Enforcement Director Ryan Pruett. He said water has been restored to some areas of the park. They’ve also issued a citation to Fountain Bleau Capital LLC, the new owner of the park.
A local organization is attempting to help the residents. Feeding the Valley will donate a palate of water to residents on July 24 at 11 a.m.
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