Buffalo Mobile Home Park Residents: Storm Shelter Is Too Small

August 22, 2017 06:42 PM

Residents at a mobile home park west of the Twin Cities say their storm shelter is too small to fit everyone during severe weather.

The concerns come on the heels of a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation looking into the state’s unique law that requires mobile home parks to provide a storm shelter or an evacuation plan for its residents.

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RELATED: Nowhere to Hide: Despite State Law, Mobile Home Residents Often Left Unprotected

Buffalo Manor East has a shelter, which the investigation revealed is not always the case around the state.

But under state law, shelters must be at least four square feet per resident. By one count, the park has about 150 units.

RELATED: Resident-Owned Mobile Home Park Builds Storm Shelter

According to at least two park residents, the storm shelter is so small that people are lined up outside the shelter during severe weather. 

“When I was there the last time with (my daughter), yeah there was a line," said Jesse Keifenhein, who lives in the park. "There were people standing on the stairs going all the way up.” 

A spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Health said the park is in compliance, but acknowledged that "the laws and rules protecting the safety of mobile home park residents are a patchwork of state agencies and local government roles.”

MDH plans to bring the issue to the attention of local building officials.

“I would like a plan," said Ken Meyer, who is new in the park. "I would like to be told where to go.” 

Managers at Buffalo Manor could not be reached for comment, but an employee said residents are welcome to use the shelter in the next park over, which is under the same ownership.

Click here to contact our investigative team or call 612-588-6397 to submit a news tip. 

Credits

Ryan Raiche

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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