Isabel victims given extra time in temporary housing

U.S. government to provide trailers for 6 more months

February 26, 2005|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Maryland families who were displaced by Tropical Storm Isabel can continue to live in trailers provided by the federal government for another six months, state officials announced yesterday.

An estimated 115 families living in the temporary housing could have been displaced in mid-March. The federal government provides trailers for up to 18 months after a natural disaster. Isabel struck Maryland in September 2003.

It was unlikely the government would have taken away the trailers even if the deadline had not been extended, but many said the news was still a relief.

"It was something that was very much needed," said Eileen Thaden, who has been living with her family in a trailer since their home on Anne Arundel County's coast was damaged by Isabel.

"It's terrific news. Any extension is welcome for the families," said Donald I. Mohler III, director of communications for Baltimore County, one of the areas hit hardest by Isabel.

Isabel victims and government officials were quick to say much still needs to be done. Many have complained that their insurance payments are much less than their policies called for. Others have had trouble finding qualified contractors to do repair work.

"Unfortunately, there are going to be a lot of people who will need their trailers for more than six months," Thaden said.

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