Relief for flooded homeowners in Spillville - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Relief for flooded homeowners in Spillville

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After six months of waiting, flooded homeowners in Spillville have been approved by FEMA's flood mitigation program. 

The Turkey River swelled over its banks last August, flooding over Spillville and the historic Inwood Ballroom. 

The wave of flooding causing $4.8 million in damage through eight counties. More than 200 businesses were damaged and dozens of homes destroyed. Governor Branstad asked for federal help in the destructive floodings wake.

John Cox of Spillville has been in limbo for nearly six months after the floods.

It all stems from the fact FEMA had only issued but not approved new flood maps for Spillville, so Cox was only able to get $35,000 in insurance. This left him in a bind, up until now, since FEMA has decided to buy out his home. 

"The light is there at the end of the tunnel, we're happy to see it," said Cox. 

Cox and his family had no choice but to leave their flooded home near the Turkey river back in August. The damage left Cox frustrated and helpless back in August when we first spoke with him. 

"In my opinion it would've been better and easier if a tornado had hit it," said Cox in August. 

Even though the flood forced his family out of their home, they were still left footing the mortgage.

"$650 a month for mortgage and $650 a month for rent,you know it's stretching it," said Cox. 

Now there is finally relief for Cox and three other homeowners in Spillville. The city of Spillville is completing paperwork with FEMA, who's agreed to buy out four homes in Spillville, including Cox's. 

"If there's any bright lining to this, it was assessed and they're going to buy it out for more than we payed for it,' said Cox.  

FEMA'S flood mitigation program allows families like the Cox's to get a fresh start and buy a new home outside the flood zone.

The sandbags from August are still sitting outside, since Cox and his family were unable to return to their flooded home. But even after seeing its second flood, he says this home will be missed. 

"It's still hard coming back to an empty house," said Cox. "You know we had been here for eight years. This is the only house the kids really knew, and so it's kinda hard coming back to it. The town is great, small, everybody knows each other, we just don't want to live this close to the river anymore."

The mayor of Spillville Michael Klimesh says Spillville is still operating on a 40 year old flood map. Klimesh says FEMA projected they wont give them an updated flood map until 2019. 

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