SHAWNEE — Some residents are upset after being told they must move out of a mobile home court within the next two months because of unsafe water.
Residents at Meadow Ridge Mobile Home Park in Shawnee received notices this week telling them to vacate the property by June 10. The trailer court has shown elevated levels of uranium in its water since 2007, said Skylar McElhaney, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Quality.
Uranium levels in the water at the trailer court haven’t remained consistently high, but have risen and fallen over the past seven years, McElhaney said. The owner of the trailer court considered several options for addressing the problem, but eventually decided to close the business instead, she said.
Managers at the trailer court couldn’t be reached for comment.
What’s the risk?
Elevated uranium levels occur naturally, McElhaney said. Although ingesting uranium can lead to kidney damage, residents aren’t likely to experience health problems after drinking water from the trailer court.
Based on estimates from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, a person would need to drink two liters of the water each day for about 70 years to see an elevated risk of health problems, McElhaney said.
But Meadow Ridge resident Michael Curley said he’s concerned about having been exposed to uranium.
Several residents are considering contacting an attorney about the situation, he said.
Curley said he thinks asking residents to move in two months is unreasonable. Many of the mobile homes have been there for 10 years or more, he said, and they could fall apart if owners try to move them.
Mary Gunter, 72, lives at Meadow Ridge with her husband, Jim Winkelman. Gunter said she’s upset she’s being forced to leave. Moving their mobile home likely would cost Gunter and Winkelman thousands of dollars, which Gunter said will be difficult to afford.
Even if the couple were able to afford the move, Gunter doesn’t know where they would go. She hasn’t been able to find another trailer park in Shawnee with space available, she said.
“There’s no place for us to go,” Gunter said. “What are we supposed to do?”