Arlington Considers Buyouts for Flooded Homeowners

City estimates it needs between $12 million and $15 million


Arlington is considering possible buyouts for more than 100 homeowners along Rush Creek after flooding from the remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine.

President Barack Obama's administration denied a request from Gov. Rick Perry to issue a major disaster declaration for 13 counties, including Tarrant County.

"I'm very disappointed that the president did not declare it a disaster zone," Mayor Robert Cluck said Monday. "If people out there want to be demolished, OK, then we have to find the money for that."

More than nine inches of rain in Arlington on Sept. 9 forced residents of homes and apartments to evacuate.

Cluck estimates the city would need between $12 million and $15 million "to do everything i think we need to do."

"If we have another rain event, a big rain event, it's going to flood again," Cluck said. "We cannot control the flooding out there anymore."

Had Obama issued the disaster declaration, Texas residents could have received housing aid for up to 18 months and money for repairs and replacement of damaged items. Grants would have been available to replace personal property, and low-interest loans would have been available for uninsured losses.

Additionally, federal funds would have helped cities to pay for 75 percent of approved project costs in repairing public property, according to FEMA.

City Council members will discuss their options in a work session Tuesday afternoon. The city is also talking with FEMA about other ways to help those affected by the floodwaters.

"We've all lost our homes -- not only our homes, everything," Rosey Cipolla, who has lived at the Willows At Shady Valley Condominiums for 15 years. "I'm really shocked, I mean, that they (the federal government) would not step in."

A spokeswoman for Perry said Monday that the governor is examining his options.

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