Kentucky Flood Victims Fill Up State Park as They’re Living Out of Trailers at Campgrounds

by Lauren Boisvert

Kentucky residents displaced by the floods in late July are worrying about their future. Many residents are without homes after the devastation, while some have taken to living out of trailers at the Jenny Wiley State Park campgrounds and other places. For many, they are in a holding pattern while they wait for government money and carpentry crews to help rebuild.

According to AP News, the state of Louisiana is even donating up to 300 travel trailers for residents to use as temporary housing. Louisiana has a history of flooding and extreme weather. Its residents know what it’s like to be displaced and lose their homes. According to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, 65 trailers have already arrived.

State parks are housing more than 340 people displaced by the flooding. Beshear said that “Getting the trailers is not our challenge. It’s safe places to hook them up. It’s the electric; it’s the utilities. And we continue to search for more.”

Kentucky Plans to Rebuild Homes After Historic Flood

The trailers are part of a plan to get residents back into permanent homes. The first wave of temporary housing was when displaced residents took shelter in churches and schools. Now, the second wave is trailers set up in state parks, RV parks, and campgrounds. The third wave is, hopefully, real, stable homes again for these Kentucky residents.

“We don’t want these to be forever homes,” Beshear said of the trailers. “This is not the end; this is the middle. This is intermediate housing.” Although it is temporary, residents are expecting to stay in these trailers through the holidays and into 2023. There is as of yet no timeline for how long it will take to get communities liveable again, though residents are currently on a waitlist.

Extreme Weather is Posing More of a Threat to Communities

Climate change is directly influencing extreme weather patterns, and now people are getting worried about losing their homes to floods, tornados, hurricanes, or wildfires. A study done in July revealed just how many people are starting to worry, and how many don’t really care.

The survey company Data for Progress spoke to a group of Americans and asked them if they felt they were at risk for displacement and home loss due to extreme weather. 47 percent felt “very” or “somewhat” concerned about displacement. In contrast, 25 percent were “a little” worried, and 28 percent were not concerned at all about losing their homes to natural disasters.

With a huge uptick in natural disasters, like massive wildfires in California and Oregon, flash-drought to flash-flood in Dallas, and intense flooding in Kentucky, there’s more cause for concern about our homes and communities. Additionally, is there enough disaster relief from the government?

Data for Progress also polled Americans about government relief and found that over half of those surveyed felt there was not enough support. 35 percent of people polled felt the government provided enough support, while 3 percent felt there was too much. Overall, natural disasters are something we should be prepared for, no matter where we live.