Local residents continue to recover from the devastating flood event of October 2015 and Richland County is helping through several efforts, including the FEMA
- property buyout program.
The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) buyout program focuses on acquiring properties that are located in a designated flood plain and were substantially damaged during the flood. Many of these properties have remained abandoned since that time. Once acquired, the properties will be demolished and the land will be returned to a naturalize state, which will mitigate future flooding issues.
Although the program is voluntary, many residents have chosen to participate.
Participants in the process are pleased it is moving along.
“It’s good to get everything finalized so I can go on with my life now,” said Carl Steen, one of the program’s participants. “This was kind of hanging over me for three and a half years and it’s good to close out that chapter.”
Mike King, Richland County Local Disaster Recovery Manager, is overseeing the program.
“It is certainly gratifying to be a part of a program helping our residents move on with their lives after such a devastating event,” he said. “The residents involved in our buyout program have been true partners with us over the past three plus years, and each property acquired is another step moving forward.”
Richland County has acquired 40 properties to date. The demolition phase of the program is anticipated to begin next month.