The flash floods that have torn through Ripley, Brown County, Ohio have been devastating, and now the news has been released of the deaths of three people. A woman and two of her children were in their mobile home when the Redoak Creek nearby burst its banks and flooded the area, and they were killed. The mobile home itself was pulled from its foundations, and pulled across the flood waters, and there was nothing that anyone could do.
Rescue teams were mobilized to the area as soon as the emergency was realized, and they were able to save the father and two more of their children – but by that point it was too late to save half of their family. The survivors were taken to hospital so that their injuries could be seen to, and the rescue teams have staying in the area to ensure that no one else is missing or hurt. It has been reported that one of the children who died was only five years old, and that the mother was pregnant with their fifth child.Reports do not seem to agree on the exact age of the second child that was killed, but the three surviving members of that family will now have to start processing the fact that their numbers have been halved overnight.
This tragedy is something that the mobile home community in Ripley are going to struggle to come to terms with. It almost seems impossible that a family could be torn apart like that in just one night, and yet the flooding was so strong that it is a miracle that more people were not hurt or killed. There are many rescue services that will be offering support and care to those in Ripley; both material, as there are many who are now without adequate shelter and food, and emotional, as a great hurt has been caused in the community. It may be necessary for some of the children who knew the victims of the flooding disaster to receive special care and attention, and potentially even counselling.
The flooding in this area is due to the fact that torrential rain fell; over four inches in as many hours. A severe weather warning was given by the Local Nation Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio, but there was nothing that the family could do to predict the bursting of the Redoak Creek banks. Severe flooding like this was experienced in Eastern Kentucky recently, and caused the deaths of at least four people in a similar mobile home community. There are still several individuals from that community who are still listed as missing, although the hope that they will be found alive is diminishing with each day that they are not accounted for.
Flash floods of this nature can be absolutely deadly for those that live in mobile homes, and many people are now being warned about any future downpours that are expecting. Experts have stated that the mobile home communities were not adequately prepared for any sort of disaster such as flooding, due to poor construction. There is evidence of bad foundations, poorly installed tie-downs, and very think construction. In combination, these factors mean that a strong flood could easily wash away a mobile home, causing a home amount of damage to the property and to its residents.
It is hoped by many that this tragedy will galvanize local authorities to demand better protection and care for those who are living in mobile homes, as well as to take responsibility for the flood cleanup and property restoration, to prevent anything like this from happening ever again.