Flood 2011 buyout program in effect


Reporter - Briana Conner
Photographer - Chad Darnall

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky. - The last 100-year flood hit our area two years ago, but some people are still in a financial drought from it. Now, they're one step closer to a payday from FEMA. They gave McCracken County a grant to help people bounce back. The county will use that money to buy 13 of the worst-hit homes after they're appraised.

The flood zone map for McCracken County was re-drawn after the flood of 2011. Johnson Road is in an area identified as subject to a 100-year flood. The buyout program is designed to make sure disaster doesn't hit those 13 homes twice.

Deputy Judge Executive Doug Harnice said parts of Paducah and McCracken County are prone to problems. Three houses on Johnson Road sit in ruins after the flood of 2011. Harnice said. "They were the most damaged homes. They filled out applications and applied for help from FEMA."

Now, two years later, a total of 13 properties in the county are being appraised. Then the property owners will be paid. "This has come along pretty speedy. I think things have moved pretty fast," said Harnice, "Once the buyout is finished, the homes will be demolished and it will go to green land."

FEMA is kicking in about $1.5 million to cover 75 percent of the cost. The county will pay 13 percent, and the state will add the last 12 percent. Harnice said, "Once the appraisal is over, it will start. The money's here."

The appraisal company did not want to talk on camera, but they did say the paperwork came in Friday morning. They're ready to start doing the appraisals next week.