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Shadow Wood

Shadow Wood: Storm shelters scarce for local neighborhood

By Jose Diaz/For CU-CitizenAccess/CHAMPAIGN – Every time the National Weather Service issues a storm warning, Heidi Zavaleta has to decide where to seek shelter. She can stay at home, go to the mall or drive to the nearest hospital.

Most of the time she simply stays at home.

Zavaleta lives in Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park, a trailer home community in northern Champaign. She knows that mobile homes are not safe during storms but staying at home is safer than what most of her neighbors do.

“Most of them just go underneath the interstate’s bridge,” she said.

By Jose Diaz/For CU-CitizenAccess/Residents of mobile homes, like this one at Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park in Champaign, account for 43 percent of tornado-related deaths, according to the National Weather Service. The nearest public building that can provide shelter for Shadow Wood residents during a tornado 24 hours a day is Carle Foundation Hospital, located 2 miles away.
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Shadow Wood: Longtime residents happy with their neighborhood

By Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess - M.L. Ledent doesn’t like it when people ask if she still lives in her trailer.

“I don’t live in a trailer,” the 83-year-old retired nanny and housekeeper tells them. “I live in a mobile home.”

Ledent has lived in the Shadow Wood mobile home park nearly as long as it has existed.

In 1968, a year after the park opened, she and her husband, who died nearly 20 years ago, moved into a three-bedroom mobile home.

In this series

Shadow Wood: A changing neighborhood

Jose Diaz/For CU-CitizenAccess - The Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park has seen many changes during the past two decades, most notably a dramatic increase in its Hispanic population and a reduction in crime.
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