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Mitigation grants end flooding for some who qualify

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 7:50 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Nobody wants to be stuck in a house that repeatedly floods. But some residents are stuck - not able to sell their homes.

Homes that flood multiple times cause misery for homeowners and often cost the federal government money.

It makes no sense to repeatedly redo a house that floods or repeatedly pay flood claims on the same property.

That’s why the home of Ben and Mellisa Herrera on Barbe Street is being raised five feet.

“We will not have the extreme cost of flood insurance any longer, and we won’t have the worry of flooding every time we come into this hurricane season.” Mellisa said.

Assistant Calcasieu planning director Jennifer Cobian oversees grants to prevent recurrent flooding.

“Typically, people are selected for mitigation grants based off of the severity of the flooding that they’ve experienced. So, we prioritize them based on the number of times they’ve flooded, the depth of the flooding in their homes, how many flood claims have been filed on the property,” she said.

Besides raising homes or otherwise reducing the risk, she says sometimes they buy people’s property and the homeowner moves elsewhere, leaving their former property to become green space.

“We can either elevate the structure out of harm’s way so that the structure no longer floods, or it means that we can buy out the structure so the homeowner can go relocate in an area that doesn’t flood. No future development can happen on the property,” she said.

Once the house is finished, Mellisa says they’ll no longer have to pay $600 a month for flood insurance.

“We love our home, we love this area and hopefully we can stay here for a long time,” Mellisa said.

There is a waiting list, but officials encourage flood victims to apply.

Contact the Calcasieu Police Jury for more information. Here is a form to fill out.

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