Escambia County Homeowners Await County Commission Amendment to Replace Their Trailers

August 16, 2005

An ordinance passed last year after Hurricane Ivan struck Escambia County, Florida will have to be amended by the county commission here to allow families to replace trailers destroyed by Hurricane Dennis in areas where they are ordinarily prohibited.

Dennis destroyed 323 Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers when it struck the Florida Panhandle July 10, officials said.

FEMA spokesman Ross Fredenburg said 61 trailers have been replaced, but about 40 families in Pensacola Beach, Fla. have had to wait for the county commission to amend an ordinance that only allowed mobile homes and travel trailers in this barrier island community, where they were not normally permitted, because of damage caused by Ivan.

The commission is scheduled to vote Thursday to allow the emergency housing after any major natural disaster, including Dennis, County Attorney Janet Lander told the Lakeland Ledger. He said the amendments were fast-tracked after Dennis struck, but still had to be advertised and vetted in a public hearing.

An extension to the 18-month temporary housing limit would also be granted to residents whose primary homes have new damage caused by Dennis, officials said.

Fredenburg said FEMA is working on a case-by-case basis with families awaiting replacement trailers elsewhere.

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