City of Conway gaining half a million dollars more for their buy out program

Grand Strand

CONWAY, SC (WBTW)- The City of Conway will get half a million dollars to add to their flood buy out program.  The program started after Hurricane Matthew, and the city opened it up to anyone in a flood plain.

The city said because they were awarded that extra 500,000 dollars, they hope they’re able to buy even more homes and get people out of harms way.

The City of Conway said it now has to expect flooding could be a yearly event.

“The only access to their homes have been by kayak or canoes and that’s not just a situation that’s tenable for a long period of time,” said Conway City Administrator, Adam Emrick.

That’s why the city started the buy out program two years ago after Hurricane Matthew. 

Since Hurricane Florence affected the same people, the city said their foot was already in the door to qualify for the program. The initial grant was to buy out 58 homes and businesses. When the city started making offers only 10 to 15 were interested, but now there are 75 interested home or business owners.

“When we started this program it was never meant to be the first option for people. There are folks that have no choice now, they have a home that’s not worth anything. They can’t sell a home that’s been flooded three or four times, said Emrick.

The city said to qualify for the buy out you must be in a flood zone and have flood insurance. Hurricane Florence affected 388 homes, but a majority of those were not in a flood zone. The city said about 130 people qualify.

Those who do, will be offered 75 percent of the value of their home before Hurricane Matthew. They will have 25 percent out of pocket cost for demolition, then the city will own the property.

“There will be no structure on them it will be green space. Dedicated green space in perpetuity which means no structure can ever be erected on those sites again,” said Emrick.

The city already made some offers, and now work to close on some of these homes. 

On November 14th, the consultant for the program will have a public meeting with the community. 

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