Orange has 27 properties that have flooded three times within nine years and about 1,000 that have flooded twice.
Orange City Planning Director Kelvin Knauf gave those figures to the Orange City Council Monday during a workshop about different federal grant plans to prevent houses from flooding again.
Consultant Greg Wobbe from MPTX, Inc., of Beaumont talked about how the money from FEMA and the Texas Division of Emergency Management can be spent for property owners.
The city must approve the programs for the individual property owners. City Manager Dr. Shawn Oubre emphasized the programs are voluntary and no agency can force a homeowner to participate.
Wobbe said under Harvey, the programs require a 25 percent contribution from the participant. After Hurricane Ike, the federal programs did not require a match from the owner. The programs required a 10 percent homeowner contribution after Hurricane Ike.
A property buyout means the program buys the house. The city pays to demolish it and is reimbursed for the cost. The city is then responsible for maintaining the land and it can never be built on again. Wobbe said the requirement of non-use is put in the legal deed record. He said the vacant land could be turned into a park with restrooms and structures like a gazebo. The maximum spent on a buyout is $276,000.
Oubre said a recent buyout took five years to complete.
Property owners can also get up to $176,000 to elevate a house. Or in some cases, a homeowner with repeated flooding can have a house demolished and then a new one built above the flood level. The maximum on that is $150,000.
Oubre told the council the individual homeowners will need to file for the programs online or through paper application. The city will be involved in the process.
-Margaret Toal, KOGT-