MSD officials get input from neighbors in flood-prone area - WDRB 41 Louisville News

MSD officials get input from neighbors in flood-prone area

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --They have weathered dozens of floods, but there could soon be a rainbow for people on or near Maple Street in west Louisville.

There are not a lot of homes left, because most people took the buyout and moved.

But the people who stayed met with MSD on Thursday afternoon to decide what, if anything, will be built on the land.

Cynthia Lewis, who lives near Maple Street, knows she took somewhat of a risk when moving into her home near the flood-prone street.

"I seen the blue print, and it was like the flooding wouldn't come this way because the ground goes down," Lewis said.

After years of flooded homes and cars, most of Lewis' neighbors took a buyout from FEMA and moved to higher ground, but now the land is full of vacant homes and overgrown grass -- not the kind of environment Lewis and her husband want for raising their children.

"My son is 10, and my daughters are 5 and 2," she said. "I would say a park, that would be nice, maybe like a walking track."

Thursday afternoon, MSD officials invited Lewis and other neighbors to a meeting at nearby Eastern Star Baptist Church to get their input and ideas on the future of Maple Street.

"We want to include the public," said Stephanie Laughlin with MSD. "The intent of the group is to find a beneficial use for this flood prone area that is Maple Street."

Laughlin said anything that does not include a structure is on the table, because flooding is still an issue for the area.

"Just removing those homes that we have removed does not reduce flood risk for anyone remaining."

The buyout is part of a $9 million federal grant, but it is now or never for everyone who stayed.

"In the future, we will not have this opportunity to use FEMA grant funds on those properties," Laughlin said.

Meanwhile, Lewis believes her home is out of the danger zone, and she's glad to have some say about her surroundings.

"I mean, it can be empty spaces as long as it's kept up."

Thursday's meeting was the first of several to get input from neighbors.

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