Hundreds of evacuees from Paradise who have been encamped in a tent city set up on a Walmart parking lot have called it ‘Wallywood’
Not only are authorities grappling with the grisly task of finding those who likely died in the Camp Fire, but there is also a brewing crisis as to what to do with those lucky enough to survive.
Officials in Butte County are struggling to come up with housing solutions for the hundreds of Paradise residents made homeless by the devastating wildfires.
In the last few days, a tent city has been growing in the parking lot of a Walmart in Chico.
The hundreds that have encamped at the location have even dubbed it ‘Wallywood,’ according to the Sacramento Bee.
‘I just want to be safe and happy and in a home,’ said DeAnn Miller, 57, one of the residents of Wallywood.
An estimated 50,000 people have been evacuated from Paradise – with 1,000 of those currently living in six shelters.
In three facilities, Novovirus has broken out, requiring officials to erect special isolation tents in hopes of containing the virus.
Even before the wildfires, Butte County was facing a severe housing shortage. Now it must rely on state and federal authorities to help with solutions in relocating those displaced by the fire.
Meanwhile, dozens of Camp Fire evacuees in Chico have been given a deadline of 1pm on Sunday to dismantle Wallywood.
Donation bins and portable bathrooms that were set up for residents who were forced to flee their homes will be removed.
More than 100 people are camping out in the tent city. They do not know where they are going to go as temporary housing facilities have not been made available to them.
‘They’re taking everything on Sunday, the bathrooms, the lights, everything,’ one evacuee, Carol Whiteburn, said.
‘I don’t know what we are going to do.’
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has opened a disaster recovery center, but no arrangements for temporary housing have been made.
‘What do you tell people who are sleeping in a parking lot and still have to wait 5-7 days to even get an answer from FEMA?’ Whiteburn said.
It is expected to take days to process requests for emergency housing.