Flooded homeowners considering buyout from FEMA

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Flooded homeowners considering buyout from FEMA, Christine Dobbyn reports. (KTRK)

This is the third time the Massey's have flooded in a little more than two years.

"I can't explain it to my son, I can't, it's dangerous," homeowner Kristin Massey said.

Sandbags and $5,000 in preparations couldn't save their Meyerland home -- this time they had a boat ready.

"We were up in our attic and it got to our waist and decided it's time to go and we had to take the boat out. It's nine feet in my street," said Massey.

She said her family's options are to elevate at a price tag that could be more than $300,000 or tear down and start new.

"That's before you renovate it, that's before you have any contents back. We lost everything. You're talking $550,000 just to be whole again," she said.

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FEMA by the numbers

After this flood she said she would consider something else.

"Any way you look at it I'm upside down, where do you go. A buyout would be something I would definitely consider. It's one more thing I would consider, you have to pick your best loss," said Massey.

The FEMA voluntary buyout program is sponsored by the Harris County Flood Control District. Any decisions on Houston area neighborhoods that might be considered would be made by state and local leaders. Grant funded buyouts of property must have a current flood insurance policy.

Other considerations in Harris County include:

1. Source of flooding.
2. Location and depth within the floodplain.
3. Cost effectiveness as a solution to the property's flooding problem.
4. Potential for future floodplain preservation and/or flood damage
reduction projects.
5. Compatibility with community and natural values.
Source: Harris County Flood Control District

Neighborhoods that might be included in the program have not been identified but Massey said it's now an option she never would have considered before.

"I don't know what the future holds for Meyerland. I know there are a lot of people who aren't going to be able to do what it takes to stay here. A lot," said Massey.

The buyout process can take 13 to 25 months from the date the application is submitted to demolition.

For more information go to, visit the Harris County Flood Control District's website.

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