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Martin County plan to buy out flooded homes approved by state

Request for $9M now goes to FEMA
Posted at 5:38 PM, Nov 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-02 19:59:36-05

HOBE SOUND, Fla. — While the wind made its presence known Monday, the water is never far from anyone's thoughts in Hobe Heights.

After consistent flooding this year, 13 homes have been abandoned.

But those homeowners may now get some relief.

Martin County’s plan to buy those homes, has been approved by the state.

“We applied for three different grants with the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and we heard last week the Division of Emergency Management at the state level reviewed all of the information we submitted and recommended it to FEMA for funding,” said Martin County Public Works Director Jim Gorton.

The first two grants encompass acquiring the 13 homes targeted.

Appraisals would dictate how much each person would receive.

“It’s an effort to purchase property, get them out of flood plain and expand available storage in the neighborhood which will protect the other homes,” added Gorton.

Another 41 homes are currently deemed flood risks.

The third grant would impact the entire community, by setting up a permanent system to alleviate flood waters.

“The flooding occurs because there is no outfall, it’s a sump basin so we’ve applied for a grant to install three different pump stations in the community,” said Gorton.

If approved, construction would take about 18 months after getting permits.

“So when water reaches a certain elevation, the pump kicks on, when it goes back down to a certain elevation, it kicks back off,” said Gorton.

The price tag for the three grants is in the neighborhood of $9 million.

As for when the county is expected to hear back from FEMA, that should be around the first of the year.