Sarah Amandolare

Mobile home communities grapple with flood risk

From Vermont to Montana, efforts are underway to protect residents in the most flood-vulnerable locations — like Tri-Park in Brattleboro — without sacrificing affordability

Charlotte Bishop was standing at her kitchen window in January 2019 when she saw water streaming into her yard. A block of ice had clogged the brook that snakes around the mobile home park where she and her husband Rollin live.

Bishop grabbed her keys and rushed outside to move their cars to higher ground. Within minutes, she was wading through knee-high water.

Bishop lives in Tri-Park Cooperative in Brattleboro, Vermont's largest and oldest resident-owned mobile home community. The co-op represents a crucial source of affordable housing for about 1,000 residents, but many of its lots are vulnerable to flooding. Bishop said her property has flooded about five times since the early 2000s, and while their home has been spared thus far, she still worries.

“I get paranoid, because I don't want to lose everything,” she said.

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