Mobile home owners urged to prepare for Ivan - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mobile home owners urged to prepare for Ivan

September 12, 2004

Albany -- Emergency officials are warning people living in mobile homes to be start looking for another place to stay if Hurricane Ivan stays on its track towards South Georgia.

75-year old Fred Rice is clearing away a large oak tree that almost fell on top of his Albany mobile home during Tropical Storm Frances.

"It was getting ready to fall down and we wanted to cut it before the storm came in," says Rice.

But falling trees wouldn't be the only danger to mobile homes if Hurricane Ivan brings 60 miles per hour winds our way. Emergency officials warn Hurricane strength wind gusts could topple mobile homes. The Rice's are hoping that wouldn't happen to them.

"The stability are those anchors that we have down in the ground," says Elise Rice.

But, those anchors may not be enough. Officials are urging mobile home owners to pay attention to weather reports and have an evacuation plan. 

"We don't want them to wait to the last minute and think about where they are going to go. I want them to think about it in advance. Think about what they will do if Ivan continues to track as it does," says Albany Fire Chief James Carswell. 

The Fred and Elise Rice already have emergency supplies and say if the worse comes they'll take shelter in this cement wash house or evacuate to one of their children homes. 

" We will just wait to see how close it gets and if it gets too close, we are going to be gone," says Rice.

Experts say many mobile homes, more than 10 years old, are not built to withstand hurricane strength winds. To be safe, people living in mobile homes should have another place to stay when the storm hits Southwest Georgia.

posted at 4:05PM by scott.hunter@walb.com