Buyouts begin for flood-ravaged Banana Bend

HIGHLANDS, Texas (KTRK) -- Somewhere between the washed out road and the new sand dunes, Tim and Leann Gober have realized there is literally no way home.

"I'll miss it, I will," Leanna said. "But, you get too old to do this."

Home is the small community of Banana Bend, which for decades offered residents a quiet way of life along the San Jacinto River.

Harvey's rains caused the river to swell over a mile wide at places, and now the government is moving in.

"Because there is no access to Banana Bend and a 1,000 foot of the road was destroyed, it's critical we find out the interest for buyouts," said John Blount, Harris County engineer.

County officials say the road won't be rebuilt, and it has already held several meetings with residents about buyouts.

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The buyout process is underway in Bayou Bend after Harvey.

"They've been here adjusting and measuring, and I don't know how many weeks it will take to get them about done," Tim Gober said.

Ray Standley, who took a buyout in 1994, says he doesn't know why anyone would say no now.

"If they walk away from a buyout now, and the buyout goes away, they use up all their money or whatever," Stanley said.

Officials say more than 3,000 people have called Harris County Flood Control asking for buyouts. And while nobody knows if other places will get bought out, Banana Bend is almost a foregone conclusion.

And the Gobers must find another home.

"We'll move on and find something else," Tim said. "It's all we can do."

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