Homeowners of federal buyout dedicate flood prone neighborhood to new community green space
GONZALES - A bittersweet moment for residents during a federal buyout of their homes in the Silverleaf subdivision in Gonzales. The 11 acres where their 41 houses stood was dedicated Monday as a community green space.
"It's kinda sad to see them go, but we all know that was the best thing," Dana Davis said, who used to live in Silverleaf.
The federal government moved in and bought out the homes because the area where the homes were built in the 1980s is a natural wetland, which consistently flooded before and after the big flood in 2016.
"We had already had to rebuild in 2014, and it happened again in 2016, and everybody's hearts just sunk. We're like here we go again," Davis said.
US Congressman Garret Graves attended a ceremony Monday dedicating the green space and relocating the residents.
"This a game-changer for them. Many of us may be flooded once or twice, over the last five years since the 2016 flood, but these people flooded a dozen times or more." Graves said.
Many of the Silverleaf residents moved to a nearby neighborhood close to each other. More than 600 trees have been planted in the new Silverleaf greenspace.