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Friday, November 11, 2011

County Set to Buy Flood Prone Homes

For years, homeowners living in the Briarcrest subdivision have been begging for help. Without fail, when San Antonio gets heavy rain their homes fill with water.

Their neighborhood is on the northeast side off Classen and Briarcrest. And tonight, News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooter Mireya Villarreal has confirmed Bexar County is buying out 20 homes in that area to increase flood control.

Norm Kight was hoping his home on Briarcrest would be his last one. The thought of moving, at his age, is a little scary.

"I'm 77-years-old. I've got heart troubles and I've got cancer. It's not good. It's acting up and taking over, I think,” he said.

Kight and his wife are retired and live off of social security. Even though the county is giving them a fair amount of money for their home, getting approved for a new home in this economy isn't easy. So, renting might be their only option.

Kight added, "I know what our income is and I don't think we can qualify to buy a house."

But norm's neighbor, Frank Aguon, is more optimistic. Back in 2009 we did a story a story on this neighborhood after a bad rain storm. He shared pictures with us that showed the water taking over his street and seeping into his home

"We are so happy we are moving out right now,” Frank Aguon told us.

Knoll Creek is right behind frank and norm’s homes. It’s supposed to act like a drain for all these surrounding neighborhoods. But there's been so much development up stream, when heavy rains hit San Antonio in a short amount of time, the creek overflows and heads straight for these homes.

"What has occurred with those homes now is, through the remapping of the entire county, those homes have not been placed in the flood plain,” Renee Green, Bexar County Engineer.

That's why the county stepped in to help. Rather than see these homes damaged again, they're going to buy them out and tear them down.

"We'll improve the geometry of that channel and allow the flood waters to move through that area without causing any damage to the surrounding neighborhood,” Green explained.

The county wants everyone out by early march. They are spending $5 million on this project and hope to have things done by January 2014.

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