Families say they were forced out of Pinellas mobile home park due to feces running from sinks

Pinellas County

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – The Southern Comfort Mobile Home Park in Clearwater is anything but comfortable, according to residents.

Just ask Grace Fullford she says the home she’s been in since 2004 is now stinky, smelly and not sanitary. She’s forced to boil all of her water.

She even hoisted a hose in the bathroom to fill up buckets in the bathtub so she can brush her teeth and bathe. She’s fed up and extremely frustrated.

On Wednesday, she told 8 on Your Side, “This place, I’m over it. I just want to leave, but I don’t know where to go. I wasn’t planning on this. I’m on a fixed income.” She added, “It’s a hardship.”

Many residents say they’re going through the same situation as a deadline looms. People who live here have until Oct. 31st to leave.

They were given an eviction notice in April, explaining that the longstanding mobile home park on U.S. Highway 19 would close in six months.

Residents like Darla Fullmer have been here since 1999. She says she’ll have nowhere to live.

“To be uprooted and have no place to go is not a good situation,” she told 8 on Your Side.

The problem, residents say, its the poop.

They say their sewage was supposed to be treated at a facility on-site. But, instead, according to those who live here, feces-laden water began pouring from their pipes and, it didn’t stop for years., they claim.

Neighbors tell us park management didn’t maintain the system properly, which caused their waste to wander. As time went on, it got so bad, people say their children and relatives were getting sick.

They told us the health problems became overwhelming with lesions spreading on their kids’ delicate arms, legs, and chests. Their skin began peeling off, and many residents claim they had breathing problems.

Then, they tell us, there was the smell.

“It’s bad, it’s stinky, for the scent poo poo,” said one mom. She was moving out on Wednesday, packing her belongings and loading them into her minivan. “I’ll take my children to my grandma’s. I’m sad.”

Gil Sanchez is the attorney representing several families in lawsuits recently filed. He calls the situation “completely unacceptable” and “unfathomable.’

“How can this happen in our community in the year 2019? They are bathing with bottled water, sometimes even going without a bath. It’s shocking. I’m going to do everything I can to get justice for these families,” Sanchez told 8 on Your Side.

The Tampa attorney is representing several families, filing two lawsuits on their behalf.

Meanwhile, the attorney representing Southern Comfort, J. Allen Bobo, claims the lawsuit is bogus by filing a motion to dismiss, stating in it that the water was “acceptable,” citing the paperwork provided by the plaintiff’s own attorney.

8 on Your Side reached out to the defense attorney, but our calls were not returned.

Meanwhile, as the deadline looms families who haven’t left just yet shake their heads in disbelief as they discussed the situation. “We have only a few weeks left. I still don’t know what I’m going to do,” Grace said.

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