Trevlac is one of the smallest communities in Indiana. There are no stoplights in town, just a few water damaged houses and a small canal. This tiny village was nearly wiped out in 2008 by the same flooding that devastated larger communities like Martinsville and Columbus.
“A lot of people not only normally, but in this economy are really struggling,” said Brown County Long Term Recovery Case Manager Bret Hodge. “They have really been counting on this as some help for them to move on with their lives and… I’m not sure… I’m hoping that’s what happens in the end here, but we’ll see.”
Hodge has been working with many of Trevlac’s families since almost the first day of the flooding. He’s talking about a voluntary government buyout program which uses Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA funds to purchase flood damaged properties.
Brown County Emergency Management Agency Director Dak Kelp and Nashville’s chain smoking former fire chief, said the buyout plan will relieve pressure on first responders. According to Kelp, the town is flood prone and faced with many safety and health issues.
“It happens more frequently than the flood of ’08… so any time the water comes up in that area we have to commit resources,” said Kelp.
The buyout could cover as many as 91-parcels of property… 21 of those were occupied homes at the time of the floods. Dak said he can’t predict any time-line but he tentatively hopes that people might start receiving checks by January.