(AP) - Months after flooding devastated parts of northeastern Oklahoma, some residents are preparing to spend the holidays in government-provided trailers.
Cindy Cummins' home in Miami was one of more than 100 that were damaged so badly by floodwaters that the city told homeowners they would not be allowed to rebuild.
Currently, she and her 12-year-old daughter, Cassie, are living in one of 40 temporary housing trailers provided in Miami by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“Because of the flood, two of my children will not be able to come home for the holidays,” said Cummins, who moved into the trailer following major flooding in early July.
“One day you have a house that is paid off, giving you stability, and the next day the bottom falls out,” she said.
While Cummins said she appreciates being able to stay in the trailer, it is not large enough for her two older children - 19-year-old Christina and 21-year-old Matt - to stay with her at Christmas.
Christina is a student at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, and Matt is a student at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in Miami.
FEMA has told Cindy Cummins that she and her daughter will have to find new accommodations in about two months.
Nevertheless, her son said, he appreciates that his mother has a place to live, no matter how temporary.
“We don't call it the trailer home - it is our mobile mansion,” Matt said with a laugh.
“We just take one day at a time,” Cindy Cummins said. “We've lived in a tent, hotel, with friends and now into a FEMA trailer. I don't know where we would be if FEMA hadn't stepped forward for everyone that suffered a loss in the flood.”
About 807 households in Ottawa County registered for federal and state assistance after the flood - 789 of them in Miami.
The July 4 flood occurred when the Neosho River crested at 29.25 feet, about 15 feet above flood stage.
“We bickered and fought amongst ourselves at first after the flood and realized that our possessions can be replaced, but at least we are all here,” Cindy Cummins said.
“We actually found out who our friends and family was after this flood,” Matt said.
“We took for granted that we could come home from work to our home and take a warm shower; the flood has taught me not to take for granted anything,” his mother said.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Tulsa received congressional authorization to conduct a $4 million study of the impact of Grand Lake on the flooding in the Miami area.
“The corps is waiting on funding to begin the study, but some funds are available to develop a project-management plan,” said project manager Gene Lilly.
The four-year study is expected to consider several flood-protection measures such as raising structures, land acquisition, levees or flood walls in Miami and the operation of Grand Lake, specifically the Pensacola Dam between Disney and Langley, Lilly said.