Buyout Program Seeks Flooded Jackson County Homes

This Pecan Community in Jackson County has seen its share of flood waters. Just ask Clyde Brown, who built a home there in the 1960s.

"The problem started in 1964. We had a tornado come through, and a lot of rain. We had 14 inches," Brown said.

And, according to Brown, that flooding cycle has continued for decades.

"The house had water in it in 1967, 1996, 1997, and 98, and then four and a half feet during Katrina... We are replacing carpet, flooring repairs, a lot of money out of pocket."

Fed up with having to constantly remodel and clean up the mess, Brown says he called the Jackson County Supervisors for help. County officials told him about the Hazard Mitigation Plan, and he applied and sold his property.

"It's a volunteering project. We are offering fair market value. The homeowner is allowed to take the money for their home and relocate," Planning Director Michele Coats said.

Coats says once the federal dollars are handed over to residents, the county takes their homes and demolishes them.

"The rooftops, all the concrete is removed from the property, the sceptic tanks are removed."

Once all the flooded homes are knocked down, county officials say almost 300 acres of land will be restored back to its natural state.

"It is a win win for the county. These structures are removed from the repetitive loss list. It also increase the mission of the wildlife, Grand Bay, and other areas that are out here protecting the environment around our coastal area," Coats said.

Any Jackson County resident is eligible for this project, as long as they can prove their home has endured repeated flooding over a certain time period. For more information call the Jackson County Planning Department at (228) 769-3056.