EVANS, Colo. (CBS4)– Cleanup is underway at two mobile home parks in Evans. They were heavily damaged in last fall’s flooding.

Eastwood Village and Bella Vista flooded with the South Platte River roared over its banks in the town located south of Greeley.

Evans residents carry valuable possessions through the flood waters on Sept. 16, 2013. (credit: CBS)

Evans residents carry valuable possessions through the flood waters on Sept. 16, 2013. (credit: CBS)

Hundreds of families were displaced after losing their homes. They had to evacuate fast and left a lot of belongings behind, furniture, food, trash.

“The worst part about the whole thing is the poor tenants,” said Eastwood Village owner Keith Cowan.

People living near the mobile home parks were upset the rotting and decaying homes were left standing.

Since January, the city has been urging Cowan to clean up his land. He claims that until last week he did not have the legal right to remove any of his former tenants’ homes.

Cleanup at a mobile home park in Evans (credit: CBS)

Cleanup at a mobile home park in Evans (credit: CBS)

“Until those homes are removed, I can’t cleanup anything,” said Cowan.

After a lengthy abandonment process Cowan said crews plan to remove the first homes next week.

Across the street crews clear debris at the Bella Vista mobile home park. But this isn’t a typical cleanup. Because waste has been sitting since September there is a lot of mold and mildew inside.

“It’s a musty smell, it’s a dirty smell, it’s a smell that we don’t normally have,” said City of Evans Mayor John Morris.

Morris said he’s happy to see cleanup get underway but believes the health risk remains.

“This is the property owners that need to take care of it. It’s unfortunate that a disaster like this has happened but all the other property owners with all the other houses they had to go in and clean up their properties,” said Morris.

Cowan blames red tape for the delay, “We were caught in the middle, not being able to touch the homes, they’re not ours and yet the city wanted us to clean them up right away.”

Cowan is suing the City of Evans over a ruling that states he cannot rebuilt. It will likely be a couple more months before cleanup is complete. That means the smell could worsen once the season begins to heat up.


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