Flood Victims Still In FEMA Trailer Forced To Pay Rent

By Gabe Osterhout

July 22, 2010 Updated Nov 27, 2007 at 11:44 AM EDT

Start paying rent, or get out.

That's what FEMA is telling people who are still living in trailers after last June's historic flood.

One family is now forced to make a tough decision.

The Babcock family in Waverly has been living in a FEMA camper the last year.

"It's been really tight. It's like, unbelievable. The moisture, the ceiling drips all the time, the walls condensate constantly. There's mold all over the place," says Harry Babcock.

The family of 4 had their home destroyed during the June 2006 flood.

They were given a temporary FEMA trailer, which 5 moths later, was destroyed by flash flooding.

And through it all, they've tried to rebuild their home, with what little money they have.

"It takes 2 days and all that money's gone. The materials cost a whole lot more than they did back when the flood happened. Everything's gone up and it's still going up," says Harry.

Now, FEMA is telling the family it has until the end of December to get out of the camper.

Or start paying rent.

The family was told rent would be between 30 and 40 percent of their income.

"We don't have the extra money. We live paycheck to paycheck. There is nothing extra at the end of the month. It all goes for necessities and bills," says Amy Babcock.

The family says, if forced to pay rent, it might have to declare bankruptcy.

But the Babcock family isn't alone.

There's still FEMA trailers all over the area.

In the Southern Tier, there are 17 FEMA trailers remaining.

Here in Broome County, there's 10, including one here in Conklin.

A FEMA representative was not available for comment Monday night.

The agency has promised someone will get back to us Tuesday.

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