Frozen floodwaters strand Woodburn residents

WOODBURN, Ind. (WANE) – The frigid temperatures have made a big mess even worse for a Woodburn mobile home park.  Floodwater turned to ice overnight, which has stranded many tenants.

PHOTOS: Flooding in Woodburn

Leaders in Woodburn said snow and ice has blocked a couple important ditches.  That backed the flow of water all the way to the Maumee River.  With rain and warmer temperatures the past week, several inches of water flooded into the mobile home park.  Before it could be drained, the floodwater froze Sunday night.

Woodburn Mobile Homes has about 65 tenants.  On Monday, most of them couldn’t drive to or from their homes thanks to thick, jagged ice on the roads.  Some had to park on the outskirts of the park and walk in, while other cars are frozen in the ice.

“That’s the biggest problem.  People can’t get back to their homes.  They have to walk through the snow and to the middle of the trailer court to get into their homes because the streets are just so flooded the cars can’t get through,” said Steve Ruppert, Woodburn Mobile Homes manager.  “You’re froze in or froze out.”

On the skating rink that once was a residential road, Carl “Shorty” Hower helps his neighbor Franklin Springer physically chip a van out of solid ice.

“We can’t get out of here.  We need to.  We need to get to the stores and doctors and stuff like that.  I got to get out by tomorrow,” Springer said.  “I’m hoping I can get out by then.”

Hower and Springer eventually broke the van free.  But driving it out of the park will be a different story.

Woodburn Mayor Richard Hoeppner said Monday, crews worked to clear frozen ditches with a backhoe.  After that, he said crews will be using construction equipment to remove ice from the mobile home park and a nearby neighborhood.  Hoeppner thinks that will take a couple more days, but the county has offered to help.

According to Ruppert, water currently hasn’t seeped into any homes.

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