Louisville councilman wants buyouts for flooded homeowners - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Louisville councilman wants buyouts for flooded homeowners

Jim King Jim King
Olga McKissic Olga McKissic
Kleyton Carvalho Kleyton Carvalho

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Louisville Metro Council's president said Louisville should spend millions of dollars to buy out homeowners who face weeks of cleanup after recent flooding.

Weekend storms dumped nearly six inches of rain on Jefferson County, flooding homes and apartment units.

"My constituents suffered this weekend," said Jim King, a Democrat and the council's president. "Anyone in this county that was flooded in this last rain event should be covered by the buyout."

Buyouts are possible and Metro Sewer District administrators are looking into whether homeowners would be eligible, said Steve Tedder, a spokesman.

The grants would come through FEMA. Buyouts are already happening in other flood-prone Jefferson County communities, including along Maple Street in Louisville's west end.

King said he didn't know how many people would be covered under buyouts for the most recent flooding, but said it could cost a few million dollars.

The potential for buyouts interested Olga McKissic, whose home has flooded three times in the 27 years since she moved in. McKissic and other residents along Elba Drive in West Buechel continued to clean up their flood-damaged homes Tuesday.

"I want to hear the plan of what's next and, if the buyout is going to be the plan, I definitely want to hear that," she said. "I am done with this. I'm ready to go."

McKissic, who had a cleaning crew at her home to remove wet drywall, said she was frustrated that the Metro Sewer District hadn't solved the problem after previous floods.

Sewer district administrators previously said the heavy rains overwhelmed their stormwater system along Beargrass Creek.

Widening the creek and adding retention ponds added capacity but weren't enough.

"What (the sewer district) did, it didn't work," McKissic said.

Next door, Kleyton Carvalho said he planned to move after insurance money pays to fix his basement.

Water still squished from the floor as Carvalho said his washer, dryer and TV were all beyond repair after about two feet of water sat in his basement.

"If they can't get rid of the problem, I guess I'll have to get rid of the problem in my own way – by moving out of here," said Carvalho, who lives in the home with his wife and three young kids. "It's a big headache."

Louisville's government never should have issued building permits to homeowners decades ago because the area is in the flood plain, King said.

Buyouts would allow homeowners to move and get fair market value for their houses, he said. The land could return to green space after the residents moved out.

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