Some 2011 Flood Victims Accept FEMA Buyout

Nov 20, 2013

McCracken County is purchasing twelve homes located in flood plains with the help of FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Assistance program. 

Flooded property from 2011.
Credit John Paul Henry

The houses, which were damaged by the 2011 flood, will be demolished and returned to wetlands, with construction banned on that site. Flood plain houses that declined the buyout are required to elevate their houses at least one foot higher than the 2011 flood level. 

McCracken County Deputy Judge Executive Doug Harnice expects the program to save the county money by limiting emergency response situations.

"If we're doing this every year, or every two or three years, probably within ten years or so we'll start really saving money on getting those folks out of the flood plain," Harnice said.

The application process is closed on the project, with costs estimated at $1.4 Million, of which 75 percent, or $1.1 Million FEMA is covering. The county will pay an estimated $146,000 for the buyouts, with the state of Kentucky picking up the rest.