A check covering 75 percent ($862,946) of the funds needed to buyout 18 flood-prone homes was recently presented to the City of Fort Wayne by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA funding will combine with a required 25 percent from local funds provided by the City and the Maumee River Basin Commission (MRBC). The local contribution is $287,649.
All of the homes slated for buyouts have experienced chronic flooding through multiple years. Together, the MRBC and the City applied and secured FEMA’s pre-disaster mitigation grant. The pre-mitigation program funds purchases when residents have told the City they want to be bought out after experiencing repeated flood damage. The homes on the list were pre-identified and submitted as part of the application. The properties are located throughout the community with several being near the Junk Ditch area.
Appraisals have been completed, and the City and the Commission have begun meeting with residents to make purchase offers. Residents will have 30 days to accept offers to purchase. Once offers are accepted, demolition of purchased properties will begin in the next few months. After demolition, the properties will remain open green spaces designed to hold floodwater.
The MRBC is already working on another grant that will assist more homeowners in flood-prone areas. Residents with homes that have flood damage and are in flood-prone areas can call 311 for more information.
Fort Wayne’s flood control efforts are multi-faceted and have included flood walls and earthen berms, storm pipe expansions, and buyouts. Since 1983, the City has purchased more than 250 homes and created more green space in these flood zone areas.
This is a positive step forward to be able to secure funding to assist our residents with the buyouts. Protecting neighborhoods from flooding has been a top priority of my administration. I’m encouraged that our investments are making a meaningful difference to enhance the quality of life for neighborhoods.
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