Photo: U.S. Geological Survey
Three years later and Spencer residents are one step closer to receiving compensation for the damaging floods of 2008.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA is set to provide nearly one-and-a-half million dollars to Spencer residents affected by the flood. FEMA Hazard Mitigation Specialist, Tami Phillips, explained that the money will be used to compensate residents for their property.
“They’re being paid fair market value for their property and they’re also removing that property from future flood damages” she said.
Although some residents have already received compensation in the form of flood insurance, FEMA is hard at work to ensure the amounts paid are fair.
“If they have received flood insurance, and the flood insurance was not used to repair the home, then that will be deducted from their offer” she said.
In addition to federal funds, state and local agencies are also chipping in. Each is giving more than $350,000.
Homeowners Slowly Rebuild
Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority projects manager Brian Philps is managing the distribution of state money.
“This is simply what we consider, in our office, demolition, acquisition demolition” he said.
According to Philps, residents are receiving offers for their property.
“They will accept or reject that offer. Most of them have obviously accepted those offers,” he said. ” Once that’s done, the local unit of government owns the property and then they will procure demolition services to demolish and clear that land and then level it and seed it and it will be green space for perpetuity.”
Spencer City Council vice-president Dean Bruce, says no homes have actually been acquired yet. And while he is glad residents will soon be compensated, he is disappointed it has taken this long.
“It’s just a shame that it’s taking so long to get the property owners taken care of,” Bruce said. “It’s been over three years since the flood. You know, things move slow, unfortunately, but we’re trying to get them taken care of.”
Once the property has been cleared, building will be prohibited in order to prevent future damages and also to allow the natural state of flood plains to remain uninhibited.