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Chouteau Bend owners fear losing homes; recreational area being shut down by Army Corps

Posted at 7:30 PM, Jun 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-23 08:20:03-04

CHOUTEAU, Okla. – Several families at Chouteau Bend Recreational Area are searching for a new home after being given only a 30 day notice to leave the area.

"None of us know what we're going to do, nobody out here has got the money." said resident Kim Hackeirth.

Recently the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers informed the residents of Chouteau Bend that the area had been deemed unfit for living. Now, some residents say they have nowhere to go and are blaming the property managers.

The order to move is a result of discovering, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, several health and safety concerns that haven’t been addressed. The claim points fingers towards the owners for not cleaning the area as was needed.

When Chouteau Bend flooded last winter, one resident, Lori Burleigh, and her home survived.

Unfortunately, now, she fears that might not be the case.

"We're going to lose our home and everything in it," said Burleigh. 

Because, this time, she feels as if she's weathering another type of storm and she’s not the only one.

“They've known for a long time that this place needed work." she said, "We have no way to leave. We can't get a loan, we have no friends or relatives to help us."

2 Works for You reached out the managers of the area and inquired about whether or not they knew the closure could happen.

"Well … yes and no,” said manager Carolyn Sinor.

Carolyn and her husband Eddie Sinor have managed Chouteau Bend for 33 years.

While the Corps of Engineers told the Sinors in April they must fix the problem of standing raw sewage in the area. The Sinors say money has been tight because of the floods, and the repairs that came with them

When asked why the residents were not informed until recently, Carolyn Sinor said "We thought we could get it done and we were doing what we could to get it done."

They say they're working on getting the sewer problem fixed now so residents can stay in their homes.

"I hope we get these things resolved and they don't have to move. But we're dealing with the federal government and I don't know,” said Eddie Sinor.

Residents have until July 20 to move. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say they have not reached a resolution with the Sinors, but they have been continuing discussions with them.

"Please don't let me and my husband and our poor disabled animals become homeless," said Burleigh. "Somebody please stand up and help us." 

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