A new program is allowing some homeowners in flood plains to sell their property to
The flood buyout program is intended to aid those who live in flood plains by buying their houses and tearing them down before they can be damaged by massive flooding.
"The federal government attaches mitigation funding to every disaster," said
"There were several million dollars in the state allocation this time because we've had several disasters in a row. So we're hoping that we can get a bunch of homes in our county that are in the flood plains bought out so we don't have repetitive loss in these homes."
Applying for the buyout is a long process, which includes a homeowner applying to the county, which sends it to
Once homes are bought, they are the property of the
"We turn (the property) over to the municipality or the area in which it sits," County Commissioner
The project comes on the heels of the devastating floods that rocked southern
Through the buyout program, the county hopes to save homeowners' lives, as well as lower costs to the county and lower costs for homeowners' insurance policies.
"Homeowners that live in a (flood plain) have to pay an exorbitant amount of insurance," Elliott said. "(A flood) only has to happen once every 100 years."
The program is still in its early stages, and the county has paid for appraisals on the current homes whose owners are considering a buyout, but Mclntire said some of the appraisals are lower than what the homeowners would have hoped.
"Things aren't what they used to be in the housing market," Mclntire said. "We can see that. The numbers are a little down from what we hoped people would get, but the homeowners have the right to get a second appraisal at their own cost and they can use that one if it's a better price."
While the DHSEM is not accepting any more applications for this round of buyouts, Mclntire said the office will continue to accept them in hopes of another round in the near future.
To see the state and county flood plains, visit mapwv.gov/flood/map. Those who want an application can contact the DHSEM at 304-367-0915.