Ada County commissioners Tuesday lifted a mandatory evacuation put in place for two Eagle mobile home parks during this spring’s flooding.
The mobile home park was without power, gas, sewer and running water starting in late May. Even so, some residents had already returned home and formed a close community to support themselves rather than move to a shelter.
The homes in Eagle are between Hatchery, Artesian and Trout roads. While the order was labeled “mandatory,” law enforcement did not forcible remove people from their homes, nor would they cite people who chose to stay. Receding floodwater has since made the area more accessible, according to Ada County.
Residents in the Riviera Estates Mobile Home Park and another park just to the north on Dolson and Pitkin Lanes were asked to leave their homes on May 22.
Authorities cited public health risks, including unsafe drinking water and difficulties for emergency responders accessing the site. The residents who stayed told the Statesman they knew the risks. They used bottled or boiled water, outdoor propane tanks, generators and YMCA showers to care for their families’ needs.
In early June, around 28 residents were still living in Riviera Estates. Many were children living with parents.
County commissioners and area emergency managers emphasized Tuesday that the lifted order does not mean the homes in this neighborhood are now completely safe and ideal living conditions.
Many steps are still necessary to ensure each of the homes is suitable for occupation. Building and electrical inspections must be done; power, gas and septic tank service must be restored; and water quality must be assessed before safe occupancy can be assured.
Idaho Power’s equipment is back on, but state officials must inspect the area’s electrical systems before power can be delivered again to homes. Some Riviera residents had already arranged for electrical inspections before the county lifted the evacuation. Resident Alisha Cowger said Tuesday she was waiting for a state electrical inspection on Wednesday. Running water will be turned back on, she said, but it isn’t drinkable until test results come back.
The county commission agreed to waive the $65 building permit fee for inspections on the 43 mobile homes on Eagle Island between Hatchery, Artesian and Trout Roads. The fees would have totaled $2,795.