Friday, March 7, 1997
Federal aid wins cheers
But some residents
feel twice victimized

The Cincinnati Enquirer

SILVER GROVE - Northern Kentucky residents shifted their focus Thursday from rescues to cleanup.

''I guess everybody's worst nightmare now is the people trying to get back into their homes to clean up the mud, the germs, the smell, everything,'' said Ed Pendery, Campbell County deputy judge-executive.

At the Campbell County Mobile Command Center near Silver Grove, authorities hoped to start that process today.

Dozens of volunteers in southern Campbell County are shifting their focus to distribution of food and other items at the Masonic Lodge in Silver Grove and the Melbourne Fire Department.

Residents of Campbell and Kenton counties cheered Thursday's news that they're entitled to federal aid.

But many in Covington's Latonia neighborhood are frustrated that they're still isolated from their homes, and angry because of what they perceive as poor treatment by city officials and employees.

At least 260 residences in Covington and Taylor Mill had water damage of 3 feet or more, according to Kenton County Disaster and Emergency Services.

In Latonia, the major damage is at the Shady Shore mobile home park, where all but one of the 103 trailers are damaged. The nearby houses at the end of 45th Street still can't be reached.

Covington Fire Chief Joe Heringhaus said many of the trailers may have to be condemned.

Kris Estes of Shady Shore said the flood condemnations are an easy means to weed out the trailer park. ''They want a lot of the older ones out of there. They're just looking for a reason.''

His complaint is that some people were able to stay later Sunday night to remove belongings. Mr. Estes said he was forced to leave at 9 p.m. Sunday, while others stayed until midnight.

Some residents expressed frustration that they haven't seen the city's elected officials.

''We're the little community that everybody's forgotten about,'' said Phil Barnes of 45th Street. ''And we need help as much as anybody else.''

Janie Barnett lives on 45th Street. The water stopped just short of her first floor.

''We haven't had any help,'' she said, wondering where the social service groups were.

Not all the residents were upset with Covington, though. Bruce Reams, Shady Shores' manager and a resident, said officials are helping with the cleanup.

Commissioner Butch Callery said he hasn't been at the site, but has called City Manager Greg Jarvis and the county's Disaster and Emergency Services Director Rob Owens about federal aid.

''I don't know what good it would do for us to swim out there,'' he said.