CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston city council voted unanimously on Tuesday night to accept a more than $500,000 grant from FEMA. It’ll be used to buy and demolish three homes in West Ashley that have been subjected to repetitive flood losses.
The city will put another $188,565 towards the acquisition and demolition of these houses. They’ll then apply for a reimbursement from the state.
Two of the houses the city wants to buy are in the Shadowmoss neighborhood and the other is in West Oak Forest, near Playground Road.
Over the next few months, the city will work with the property owners and make an offer. Once the city closes on the property, they'll take bids from demolition companies. Then they will demolish it.
The city’s flood plain manager Stephen Julka says the property must remain undeveloped.
“The overall plan is to be able to not only be removing Charleston residents from a hazardous situation,” Julka said. “But at the same time, provide a community benefit in terms of that function of the flood plain.”
The community benefits could include building a park, ball field, or an artificial wetland habitat where the houses once were.
Julka also said that the city has applied for funding for similar buyouts like this for damage done by Hurricane Irma, and they should be hearing back in the Spring if the money has been granted.