Buyout plan could spell relief for repeat flood victims in NW Harris Co.

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In northwest Harris County, homes that have flooded repeatedly could soon be part of a FEMA buyout. (KTRK)

This is a huge step forward for some frustrated homeowners whose homes are prone to flood damage.

Harris County commissioners have approved a plan to apply for a FEMA grant that would buy out 104 homes that have flooded repeatedly over the years near Cypress Creek Watershed.

Citing privacy, the Harris County Flood Control District will not say where they are.

We know many were previously bought out near the watershed, where neighborhoods once stood, the homes gone after a number of flood disasters.

WATCH: Go inside a neighborhood bought out by FEMA
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Reporter Kevin Quinn shows you around a neighborhood that was bought out after repeated flooding.

Felix Garcia has flooded three times in the 17 years he's lived in his northwest Harris County home.

"I'm tired of flooding and flooding," Garcia said. "I want to move."

The most recent flood was during Harvey. He says he's fed up and called Harris County asking to be bought out.

"Depends on how much they give me," Garcia said.

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While we don't know where the FEMA buyouts will happen if the plan is approved, we have some idea where they might happen.

This morning, the Harris County commissioners agreed to apply for federal funding totaling over $17 million to buy out 104 homes that suffered "severe repetitive loss."

The grant applies to homes that were waterlogged in the Tax Day flood and before.

County Judge Ed Emmett said it's time to get the buyout process started, so homes that are not being fixed will be eventually demolished.

"It was the wake-up call or the final straw," Emmett said. "One way or the other, there are some homes that have flooded repeatedly."

Harris County previously bought out over 3,000 homes, according to flood control district maps.

Officials will not say where these homes are located which could qualify for a buyout this time.

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Harris County Judge Ed Emmett confirmed the county has approved the application for a FEMA grant to buy out some homes that have repeatedly flooded.

The money would not go to any of the 140,000 property owners who suffered losses in Harvey. Authorities are still looking at how to fund something of that magnitude.

Again, the county has just agreed to apply for this $17 million grant. FEMA still has to decide if it will pay it.

Locals must kick in about another $3 million to make the deal work.

Tonight at 6 on Eyewitness News, Kevin Quinn is showing you how to figure out how much you might get for your own flood-damaged home.

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

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

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Related Topics:
homehurricane harveyFEMAstorm damagehouston floodfloodinggrantmoneyreal estateHoustonHarris County
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