EAST CAPE GIRARDEAU,IL — Cold showers in a moldy house: that’s what one man in East Cape Girardeau, Illinois, is having to deal with after his whole neighborhood was condemned because of floodwaters. Now he, his son and their two dogs live in a recreational vehicle down the road from the mobile home park where they once lived. He said his life has been devastated by the flooding.
“I thought we were residents, residents of this town like everybody else,” said Gregory Gabelman.
Gabelman is one of dozens of people displaced from the mobile home park. The park has been condemned, and Gabelman said he feels like he’s been forgotten.
“Two people can’t cross each other. You literally have to stand aside into one area so somebody can walk by you. There’s a 5-foot bed at one end and a 5-foot futon at the other. I’m 6 foot, 3 inches, and my son is 6 foot. Neither of our feet have touched the bed since June 12,” said Gabelman.
Their RV has no water. Every day they risk their health by going inside their old home filled with mold to shower.
“We’ve been actually taking cold showers out at my trailer. I worked with mold remediation. I had to go in and put plastic all over my walls and floors in the bathroom, and duct tape, and spray glued everything in, and we are taking showers under the hot water heater,” said Gabelman.
He’s trying to stay positive.
“You could let it get the best of you. I try and look at the brighter side and say ‘Yeah, I’m here, but there’s others.’ Today I was over in Cape, and by Walmart there’s a man trying to bum money. I haven’t gotten to that point,” said Gabelman.
Living in the RV has also been costly. He has to eat out almost every day and pay to get his clothes washed.