City Council Approves City Flooding Buyout (VIDEO)

By Rachel Martin

July 9, 2013 Updated Jan 9, 2014 at 9:04 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – City Council approves City’s buyout of six homes in a high-risk flood plain.

Now residents in the Dalevue-Fernwood neighborhood can move out and move on as Fort Wayne City Council approved the City’s flood buyout.

Now the City plans to demolish the six homes later this year, and put in a large-capacity stormwater pipe. They’ll also construct a berm that should protect the rest of the neighborhood from flooding for 100-years.

After the most recent flooding we saw this past April, residents in the Waynedale-area neighborhood once again found their homes submerged in over a foot of water.

Machelle McHaney and her husband are one of approximately two families who remain in the area. She says she and her husband are moving to Kokomo.

Back in April is when Mayor Tom Henry visited homeowners in the area and promised them he'd fix the problem and buy out the properties for $480,000.

The buyouts are voluntary and McHaney says most families moved out right away. She says surprisingly no one was mad or upset about the situation. They’re all just happy the city is finally doing something about it.

"I'm just looking forward to closing on our home that we bought in Kokomo, and closing with the city here. Maybe I could close the door on that chapter in my life and move on. So, it'll be different, but it'll be a good different,” said McHaney.

McHaney's home is also one of two, two-story homes in the high-risk flood area. She says she's been living on the second story since the last flood in April. She says she and her husband have lived in the Dalevue-Fernwood neighborhood for 20 years, but says the last three years have been a flooding nightmare.

"It's hard when that's all you're doing. I mean, you have no life. I mean, that's all you're doing back here is putting a home together—all the time. And for three years now, that's what we've been doing, and I'm over it,” she said.

Frank Suarez, Public Information Officer with City Public Works & Utilities says this buyout was just part of several projects the City is doing to protect homes in high-risk flooding areas. It’s called the flood control improvement project. It’s a series of projects coupled with buyouts in other areas like Winchester Road, Park/Thompson, Woodhurst, Junk Ditch, and Westbrook drive. Next year, City officials say homes along Eastbrook Drive will be purchased as part of the State Boulevard expansion.

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