Thursday, March 13, 1997
Residents ponder

'Flood plain' status
limits aid

The Cincinnati Enquirer

MANCHESTER, Ohio - ''Like really be careful,'' Karen Rolph cautioned Ohio Gov. George Voinovich when he entered her flood-soaked mobile home Wednesday morning.

Floors and walls had buckled. She'd already trashed many of her meager but sodden possessions.

''There ain't much left in here, but it's mine,'' she told him and James Lee Witt, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Manchester lost an estimated 250 residences, and many were mobile homes.

There isn't enough vacant housing for the displaced families, and federal programs limit or deny money to repair residences on a flood plain.

Ms. Rolph, chipper despite her misery, quipped, ''I'm going to get as far up the hill as possible ... where the tornado might get me.''

''We might be able to buy a piece of property (on high ground) and put some pads in there,'' the governor said.

That would be ideal, said Paul Howelett, head of the Adams County emergency management agency. ''Most of our people want to stay in the community,'' Mr. Howelett said.

Further complicating Ms. Rolph's housing problems has been her landlord, Paul S. Howard of Country Lane, Milford.

She said Mr. Howard wanted to begin cleaning up and moved some possessions from her trailer at 203 E. Fifth St. without permission.

Police Cpl. John Shelton said he arrested Mr. Howard and charged him with theft and falsification. Mr. Howard was freed on $2,000 bond, Cpl. Shelton said, and is to appear before in mayor's court at 1 p.m. today.