FEMA approves $7 million grant to buy out flood prone homes in West Ashley

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved a $7.7 million grant to buy out 36 homes in West Ashley that have a history of severe flooding.

Officials with the City of Charleston say the homes being bought include 32 in the Bridge Pointe townhouse complex in the Shadowmoss subdivision.

The homes are to be torn down and turned into green space.

The  town homes were badly flooded during the 1,000-year flood in 2015 and again when Hurricane Matthew hit in 2016.

Ted Yeager moved to Bridge Pointe in 1987.

Yeager says his home was waterlogged during the flood and the hurricane.

"The big flood I had 28 inches of water in the house. The second flood I had 13 inches in the house," Yeager said Wednesday.

John Knipper moved to the complex just before the 1,000-year flood.

"It's tough watching that rain come up, hoping it doesn't come into the house," Knipper said.

Yeager says he's happy to be bought out but is sad that he has to leave.

"This is paradise back here," Yeager said.

He plans to move to a place where flooding is not an issue.

"That will be the first priority," Yeager said.

City officials say the federal share of the project is $5,839,286 with a 25 percent match of $1,946,429 being provided by the city.

"This is good news for affected residents and major step forward for our larger Church Creek Basin strategy," Mayor John Tecklenburg said.

Four other homes in West Ashley will benefit from the FEMA grant.

A city spokesman says city officials will meet with state and federal officials to learn what the next step is in the process.

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