County approves plan to buy flooded homes

County approves plan to buy flooded homes

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Some Richland County homeowners who were devastated by the flooding last October could soon have a chance to sell their houses and move on.

On Tuesday night, the County Council approved a plan to buy up and tear down dozens of flood damaged homes at risk for future flooding.

Plenty of neighborhoods have been rebuilding since the floods but areas like Timberlane Drive in Richland County are simply deserted. Many of those homes were severely damaged during the floods, some of them were covered in water up to their roofs. Since they are so close to the Gills Creek, they are considered to still be in danger for future floods. County disaster recovery planners say the best course might be to buy them from their owners, tear them down altogether, and prevent any future homes from being built in the area.

Tuesday night, the Richland County Council approved a plan to apply to the federal government for more than $7 million. That money would be used to purchase and demolish more than 70 homes in low-lying flood prone areas and then use the land for other purposes.

"Might be a park. Might be green space. We are still developing what we will do," explained Assistant County Administrator Kevin Bronson.

"I think that's just a really, really good idea for this area, with it being so close to Gills Creek and an opportunity for this to happen again. I mean, the way the weather's been lately, it doesn't have to be a 1000 year storm or 24 inches of water. It could be a lot less than 24 inches of water to flood this area again," said Mike Tourville.

The proposal would apply in some now pretty familiar low lying areas in Richland County that saw severe damage in the floods like Timberlane Drive, Glenhaven Drive, and Tall Pines Circle.

Now that the County Council has approved the plan, the county's response team can apply for the state and federal money it will require.

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