MSD votes unanimously to buy homes in flood plain - WDRB 41 Louisville News

MSD votes unanimously to buy homes in flood plain

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Some west Louisville families living in a flood zone will no longer have to worry about heavy rain.  Monday, the Metropolitan Sewer District's Board of Directors voted unanimously to buy the homes.

That's great news to neighbors like Juanita Britton.  Her home has been flooded several times and she has lost two cars to flood waters.

"You have to watch the rain every time it rains, watch make sure it don't flood," says Britton.

Over the years, Britton has learned the price you pay for not watching the rain can be pretty steep.

She says, "Since 2008, I lost 2 cars over here."

But the days of worrying about the rain and flooding are just about over for Britton and other neighbors on Maple Street in West Louisville.

"We've been very busy in the actual work towards this since almost immediately after the August 4th, 2009 storm event," says Brian Bingham, with MSD.

Monday morning, MSD's Board of directors voted unanimously to buy 128 homes in the area, but it's not mandatory.

Bingham says, "It's one hundred percent voluntary; we will not use condemnation, we will not use anything other than here is what we can give you as an offer based on federal guidelines."

Neighbors often chip in to keep sewer grates clear of debris, but in recent years even that hasn't worked. And that's why MSD is moving forward with the buyout and encouraging everyone to sell.

"If someone chooses not to go that's...they're going to make their own choice and they're going to have to live with anything that may happen in the future," says Bingham.

If anyone does stay, it won't be Juanita Britton.  She says,"I'm ready to go."

She's ready to go because in addition to losing two cars, Britton has also lost lots of valuables inside her home.

"I lost everything...everything downstairs except for my bedroom set I had to throw everything away and start all over again," says Britton.

MSD says about 95 percent of neighbors have agreed to move.  Meanwhile, officials with MSD say they will start negotiating with homeowners within the next few weeks.

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