PIKEVILLE — More than two dozen homes in Eastern Kentucky will be bought and residents relocated after two floods struck the area in recent years.
Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford said the Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded a $2.5 million grant to Kentucky to buy 26 homes in the Raccoon Creek area of Pike County.
Homes in that area were most recently hit by flooding in May 2009.
Rutherford said FEMA inspected the structures and determined that the cost of repairing the homes was greater than 50 percent of the market value.
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The grant comes from one of two applications from Pike County. The other application, which is for the 2010 flood, is under review.
"I think most people will agree that is a wise way to spend money," Rutherford said. "We are elated to receive this money from FEMA, and finally the agency has realized it is time to stop relocating people back into a flood plain."
Property owners included in the mitigation grant volunteered to have their homes bought by Pike County. Upon completion of property transfers, the buildings will be demolished and the properties will be forever dedicated to being bare land.
"This is so exciting," Pike County Housing Authority executive director Gaye Newsome said.