LBI trailer park residents told to leave

January 15, 2013 5:58:52 AM PST
Some residents of Long Beach Island are experiencing delayed heartbreak from Hurricane Sandy after they were told they need to leave their homes forever.

Charley Stites is one of the residents of the LBI Trailer Park in Holgate dealing with the devastating news.

"I'm 77; I didn't have a house somewhere else. This is my life," Stities said.

Because it would be too costly for the owner to rebuild electric, water, and sewer systems, after more than 60 years, the 5-acre park will not reopen this summer.

Residents were notified by e-mail Sunday.

"I know it was a storm, nobody's fault. I understand all of that, but I believe, it's immoral the way it's been handled," Stites said.

Residents say they've been told not only will the park not reopen, but by February 15th they've got to remove their trailers along with decks, sheds and anything else on the property.

"Get a demo price now, knock your home down, and get out of here in the next 30 days, after two months of encouraging conversations from management," Pat Foley of North Hanovers aid.

Owner Bob Muroff is out of the country and unreachable.

A spokesman for the trailer park had no comment.

142 families pay roughly $7,000 a year to rent the lots. Some prepay, but will not get those fees back.

Year-round resident Larry Shrader is crushed. Unlike at least 50 others that were destroyed, his trailer is repairable. He can't bear the thought of leaving the community he says saved him after his wife died six years ago.

"This is my life. I have nowhere to go basically. I could go somewhere, but this is all the memories I had with [my wife] Vicky," Schrader said.

The owner told residents he deeply regrets closing the trailer park.

Renters are responsible for paying for all removal and demolition costs.