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Several St. Louis County cities express flood buyout interest, joining University City

SEMA said there are 93 possible properties that could be considered for buyouts after historic flooding.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Several more cities in St. Louis County have expressed interest in buyouts for flooded homes.

Missouri’s Emergency Management Agency has received 12 notices of interest from several cities in St. Louis County with a total of 93 properties affected by the historic flooding that they’re hoping could be bought out and demolished.

“It’s all contingent on three things really, how much does the local community have to put up on the table to pay? How much money is FEMA gonna pay, which is based on how big the disaster is? And then are those individual homeowners going to accept the offer that they're going to get?” Mike O’Connell with the Missouri Department of Public Safety said.

FEMA said they will pay for 75 percent of the buyout and the remaining 25 percent would come from the cities.

Twenty-four of 93 properties are in University City.

“We were going to pursue the entire 300 plus homes that had been flooded, but at the advice of SEMA, we decided to pare that down significantly, and really focus on those homes that were frequently flooded,” University City’s City Manager Gregory Rose said.

The city of Webster Groves submitted two notices with 12 properties total, six of them had severe damage some located on North Forest Avenue right next to Deer Creek.

“If you have a repetitive flooding situation, it can be a real drain emotionally on people as well as on their finances. And then you know, the cost of insurance continues to go up. So if everything works out, a flood buy out, is a great alternative for a family,” O’Connell said.

A Spokesperson for Webster Groves said in a statement: “A decision to buy out the properties would impact the entire community and the city’s overall budget so the City is investigating the options thoroughly at this time but has not made any decisions.”

“Nobody is going to be forced to sell their home and to move out, you know, a community may make an offer to them and say, we'd like to include you in this, but then they can look at it and weigh it,” O’Connell said.

As of right now, we don’t know how much money in total FEMA will spend on historic flooding this summer in St. Louis County but 20% of that total will go toward flood buyouts.

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