North Cedar flood homes offered buyout - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

North Cedar flood homes offered buyout

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After two major floods in just a decade, some people are saying goodbye to their beloved homes.  Federal funding coming through to buy out 17 homes in the North Cedar Falls area.  These are homes that were damaged by the September 2016 flood water.  For the residents, it was a bitter-sweet decision to take the buyout.

The high waters that evacuated the North Cedar neighborhood in September were a surprise for many.  Many people didn't expect to see high flood waters in their lifetime again, but just eight years after the 2008 flood, they were living through the crisis again. 

North Cedar resident, Candie Vaughn, and her husband moved into the family home on Clair Street four years ago.

"He has talked about wanting to move back to where he grew up, so when his parents decided to move and thinking there wouldn't be another flood for 100-years, we were like, 'Yeah. Heck yeah, we will buy it,'" said Vaughn.

But now Vaughn is busy preparing for a moving sale this Saturday.  Her family is one of the 17 who opted for the flood buyout.

"We had to think about it a lot because we really don't want to move. We love this place. We thought we would be here until after we retired," said Vaughn.

The city says not everyone who qualified for the flood relief chose to take the buyout.

"You have to realize that this is a lot of people's livelihood; their home. They have been here for generations, so some did not request the buyout. If you didn't, then you realize that living in Northern Cedar Falls is going to be prone to flooding," said Cedar Falls Mayor, Jim Brown.

The homes that are bought out will be knocked down and left as green spaces. The City of Cedar Falls says the home buyouts are on Roosevelt Street, McKinley Street, Grant Street, Lincoln Street, Clair Street, Cedar Street, and E Lone Tree Road.

The total cost of the project is around $1.8 million dollars, with a roughly $400,000 contribution from the city.  The buyouts will be completed in the next couple of months.

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