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Homeowners in flood-prone neighborhood prep for storm, wait for possible federal buyout

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GONZALES - A neighborhood in Gonzales prone to flooding has homeowners prepping for Tuesday night’s storm. The drainage system on Silverleaf Street can't keep up anytime heavy rain falls.

The homeowners can apply for a United States Department of Agriculture buyout program. The City of Gonzales is helping with these applications, but the process is a long one.

“I want to be out of here before we get another hurricane or flood. I don't want to flood again,” said Ann Joseph. Joseph spent Tuesday lining her house on Silverleaf St. with 450 sandbags.

“I'm praying a lot. If I didn't believe in God, I don't think I'd make it,” she said.

Water has gotten into her house five times. Her neighbor Joe West has flooded three times.

“If we get five or six inches of rain in a short period of time it doesn't drain fast enough,” said West.

If all 40-plus homes are approved for the federal buyout program, the homes would be demolished, restoring the property to wetlands. Residents would then move to higher ground.

This process has been in the works for months. The city had to find two property owners of vacant lots. Chief Engineer Jackie Baumann says those property owners have been located, and they now have until September 24th to submit their applications. Then appraisals will be done to determine offer amounts.

Homeowners say progress is good, but it’s not stopping Mother Nature. With a storm packing heavy wind and rain nearby, the work and stress is what residents have to deal with right now.

“I'm getting too old for all this sandbagging and fighting the water. It’s just getting too hard for me,” said West.

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