Years after historic flood, more homes to be bought out

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The historic flood of 2009 took lives and destroyed homes in metro Atlanta. Roads turned into rivers and forced many to run to higher ground, leaving everything behind. 

Shortly after the flood, FEMA bought out about 130 homes.  Now, almost 9 years later, there are plans to buy out more homes that are at risk of flooding again. 

The US Army Corps of Engineers is now assisting Cobb County, Powder Springs and Austell with a plan to buy out homes and businesses in the most high-risk areas.  
The 2009 flood was extremely rare, but there are parts of the Sweetwater Creek River Basin that flood every 5 or 10 years.

"We not looking at that 2009 event to fix it, we're looking at what really affects people's lives on a day to day, year to year basis," said Tom Jester with the US Army Corps of Engineers. 

Euel Nichols home is considered high risk.  He had to rebuild his home after the 2009 flood. 

"I was over the gutters, it knocked the ceiling out of the house," said Nichols.

He's been in the home a long time, his business is on the same property, right next to the creek.  He says he doesn't want to go through another flood and if the right offer is made, he'll move.  "Every time it rains 4 or 5 inches, it starts backing up, sure I get nervous. I would be in favor of moving, but I need enough money to relocate and a commitment and I'd be ready to go," said Nichols.

The US Army Corps of Engineers joined Cobb County officials for a question and answer session with residents to talk about the plan.  Residents are welcome to contact the Corps with any concerns or suggestions.  The deadline to submit public comments is May 6. Comments can be submitted by registered mail or email. The comments from the public will be used, along with feedback from federal, state and local agencies, in the preparation of a final flood risk management plan for Sweetwater Creek.