March 29, 2019 09:52 AM
A mobile home park in Fridley is putting the final touches on a new storm shelter, just in time for severe weather season.
It comes a year-and-a-half after a 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS investigation exposed the lack of shelters or evacuation plans at parks across the state.
Natividad Seefeld, President of Park Place Cooperative in Fridley, spent months planning for and finding a way to pay for a new storm shelter on site.
“This was not easy to do by (any) means whatsoever,” she said.
Seefeld and other residents in the park were in the process of searching for funds a year-and-a-half ago when 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS found at least 60 mobile home parks were violating state law.
The parks did not have a storm shelter or approved evacuation plans for their residents.
Park Plaza Cooperative will now be in compliance.
“When you live in tornado alley, it's a big deal. Right here in Fridley - tornado alley,” she said.
In 1965, several tornadoes touched down in Fridley, including one that destroyed more than 200 mobile homes. One person died.
“A mobile home obviously doesn't have a basement, so it's very important for these people to access a place quickly. To get underground and get away from that storm,” said Ryan George of the Fridley Police Department.
The resident-owned park in Fridely used grant money and a loan to pay for the $600,000 structure, which will be ready for use late next week.
“Once you broke that story, people were talking everywhere,” Seefeld said. “I think you helped us open that can of worms that needed to be open.”
Updated: March 29, 2019 09:52 AM
Created: March 28, 2019 04:19 PM
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