Bayou View West Buyout In Second Phase

A shovel picked up what was left of 3305 Johnson Drive. Next door, 3303 Johnson Drive was ready to be dismantled. Another house down, Effie Shelton sat on her porch.

"I miss some of the people that are moving that I knew for years," she said.

Miss Effie lives at the northern tip of flood prone Bayou View West. The constant flood threat is why her property always has sand bags around it. Fortunately, this house has only flooded twice in 30 plus years.

"I only flooded when Camille came through. And then I didn't flood again until Georges," she said.

Miss Effie could let Gulfport buyout her home. But since it's paid for and she's on a fixed income, moving isn't a priority.

"You have enough to pay your bills and live," Shelton said. "But not to go buy another place."

During heavy rains, Bayou View West often looks like swollen lake or river. Water often reaches knee high or waist high levels. The persistent flooding was why Gulfport and FEMA decided to gobble up Bayou View West homes. So far, 132 homes have been knocked down.

The demolition dust is a nuisance. But the green spaces left behind actually make Effie Shelton feel more at home.

"More like living out in the country," she reminisced. Besides, she said, it's quieter.

Bayou View West will get even quieter once Gulfport demolishes the last homes in the buyout.

The Bayou View West buyout program started two years ago. In this second phase of the buyout, 81 property owners have a chance to sell their homes and move somewhere else.