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Buyout Possible For Flood-Prone Homeowners in Roanoke - abc27 WHTM

Buyout Possible For Flood-Prone Homeowners in Roanoke

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Roanoke, VA - A Roanoke neighborhood hit hard this year by flooding may get some federal relief.

Qualifying homeowners could be bought out if they choose.

Residents living along Meadowbrook Road just got a letter from the City Manager laying out a plan of action.

The area along Peter's Creek has dealt with flooding in the past. Several people say the buyout option is one that has already been dangled in front of them with no action ever taking place.

"It's long overdue. It's something we should have gotten 15 years ago," said Neal Frazier.

Frazier is still drying out after the last flood. When he first bought here more than a dozen years ago, his investing plan took into account research showing the city had plans for the neighborhood because of flooding.

"[I] was told in 1998 that within three years the city will have bought these homes and they were going to tear them down," Frazier said.

Frazier says he's a little skeptical of a recent letter informing residents of potential buyouts.

"The empty promises from the city have been never-ending as far as fixing the problem we have around here. The never-ending excuses... "We never have money," Frazier said.

Betty Harvey has the same opinion. She moved in the year before the devastating flood of 1985 and says she has also heard the city talk about buyouts.

"After the flood of '85 I saw the same interest but I'm still here. I mean I'm hopeful, but I am still here," Harvey said.

The most recent promise to find solutions came from Mayor David Bowers after two more floods hit the street in July.

Regardless what was said in the past, city management says they're working to find the solution, and ask for more patience.

"It took us decades to get into these problems and it's going to take some time to work our way out but we are committed to it," said Roanoke City Manager Chris Morrill.

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