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Repeat flood properties to be bought out soon after Metro Council approves FEMA grant

4 months 3 weeks 1 day ago Wednesday, April 28 2021 Apr 28, 2021 April 28, 2021 9:25 PM April 28, 2021 in News
Source: WBRZ

UPDATE: The East Baton Rouge Metro Council Wednesday authorized the city-parish to accept a $10.5 million FEMA grant to acquire and demolish 25 properties and elevate 19 others throughout the parish.

Clay Rives, director of the Mayor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, tells WBRZ he anticipates the more than two dozen properties will be acquired and demolished with a year.

The bidding process for elevation of the 19 properties included in the Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant has already started. 

BATON ROUGE - A forecast of heavy rain brings fear in many people, especially homeowners who can't avoid being flooded out of their homes. But some of those people are holding onto hope that their properties will be elevated or the government will buy them out.

Robby Huey is tired of watching Dawson Creek behind his house rise and risk flooding every time it rains. This week is no different for him.

"I'm very concerned," Huey said. "I go on red alert, which I call it, or flood watch."

For the last 26 years, Huey has lived in his home on Honeysuckle Avenue. In that time, he's flooded five times and has had at least a dozen close calls.

Now, thanks to a couple of projects in the works, his fears of flooding could be over.

The city-parish is waiting for about $9.5 million in FEMA grant money that would acquire 25 properties and elevate 19 structures in East Baton Rouge Parish. Once obtained, those structures will be demolished and turned into green space. The elevated properties will be raised to at least one foot above the current base flood elevation. The goal is to reduce the number of flood claim payouts through the National Flood Insurance Program.

The city-parish doesn't have a timeline for when FEMA will award the grant. When it does, it will go to Grants Review for acceptance and then be sent to the metro council for introduction, public comment, and approval.

The Department of Transportation and Development is also planning to move, acquire, or demolish several properties in the area to make way for the I-10 widening project. DOTD anticipates the property appraisals will start in the 4th quarter of 2021.

Huey says he's excited about an offer and says wherever he goes next he'll be far away from flowing water.

You can view the full map of properties by clicking HERE.

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