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Latino Daily News

Friday May 13, 2011

Hispanics File Suit After Memphis Trailer Park Floods, Leaving Many In Shelters

Hispanics File Suit After Memphis Trailer Park Floods, Leaving Many In Shelters

Photo: Trailer parks in Memphis completely under water after Mississippi River Flood

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

The devastation caused by the flooding of the Mississippi River has left a number of Mexican immigrants that were living in Memphis-area trailer parks struggling to put their lives back together.

Last year’s flooding resulted in a lawsuit in which residents say they were not told about the frequently-flooding park. Now the Mississippi has overflowed once again, and the initial community, Memphis Mobile City, has flooded all once more.

This time however, more trailer parks have flooded, many also with Hispanic residents, resulting in two of the four emergency shelters being made up of more than 90 percent Hispanic evacuees.

That 90 percent it alarming considering that recent statistics indicate that Hispanics only make up about 6 percent of Memphis’ population. Some of those displaced are in the country are undocumented, as mobile homes appeal to them since only limited documentation is required ad it’s a way of owner your own home.

Local authorities have advised those displaced, immigrants – legal or otherwise – to seek help said Mauricio Calvo, head of Latino Memphis.

Calvo questions why people were told they could place their mobile homes in areas that were unsafe, and why the residents were not warned of the dangers.

“It just doesn’t make any sense, because this doesn’t just cost money to the homeowners. It costs money to the entire community.”

Commericial Appeal wrote:

After a May 1, 2010, flood pushed trailer park residents, many of them Mexican, out of Memphis Mobile City, the Mexican consulate in Little Rock asked Memphis attorney Charles Blatteis to represent residents. Attorney Webb Brewer is also participating in the lawsuit.

Twenty-nine people filed suit on May 2, alleging the trailer park markets almost exclusively to Hispanics, doesn’t tell prospective buyers about the likelihood of flooding and exploits their weak English to lock them into unfair contracts.

In the lawsuit, it also states that the UHM Properties, owner of Memphis Mobile City, made no attempt to improve the residents’ situation, since the mobile homes are not allowed to be moved until fully paid for. The park has been flooded 6 times in the last 10 years.