SARPY COUNTY, Neb. (WOWT) -- As the Heartland wades into more than half a year of flood recovery, the lights are just starting to come back on at one mobile home park in Sarpy County.
Over the past six months, 6 News has learned a lot about the fate of Paradise Lakes and Green Acres. On Friday, people at the Sands mobile home park talked about a still uncertain future and a full recovery that’s still a long ways away.
Vicki Smith and her husband have waited a long time for the running water now flowing freely out of their taps; and they’ve waited just as long for electricity at the flip of a switch.
Theirs was one of the approximately 35 homes wiped out by the Heartland Flood back in March. In the months since, they've been living off a generator.
“It's so wonderful to have running water again,” Smith said. “And the biggest thing was getting electricity okayed so the well would work again.”
That electricity and running water are key. The county says the owner of the property proved to have both working, so they're allowing people back — if their homes pass inspection.
Smith suspects she may have more neighbors soon.
“The landlord said there's several people who want to move back in,” she said. “They were just waiting on electricity.”
Smith makes up a small handful of people whose homes have already been cleared by the county. The owner of the property wants the community to return, but he and the county are still trying to come to an agreement on how to use the land in the future.
Bob Cotten is hoping to see the place come back to life. He's lived here for 50 years — perhaps none more trying than this one.
“Just going with it day for day,” he said. “I hope he keeps it, but I don't know.”
On Friday, 6 News didn't see anyone living in any of the homes that didn't have running water or electricity, the county is still reminding people that unless the homes have been approved by them, nobody should be living in them.