Homeowners get help from FEMA after homes destroyed in Irene - CBS 5 - KPHO

Homeowners get help from FEMA after homes destroyed in Hurricane Irene

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PLAINVILLE, CT (WFSB) -

Town officials in Plainville confirmed that the federal government has approved $2 million to help buy 14 properties left under water during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.

One homeowner told Eyewitness News that his residence has been unlivable ever since the storm.

"I just want it over with," said Frank Iris. "I want this off my back and settled and everything."

According to Iris, not only was his home under water, but sewage from the neighboring plant overflowed into his house.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has been covering the cost of Iris' temporary housing. The government funding is expected to cover 75 percent of the pre-storm value of each home.

Town leaders told Eyewitness News that they are working with the state to try to cover that final 25 percent as well.

"We think its very critical those funds be appropriated because the homeowners, a lot of them are under water from a mortgage standpoint," said Plainville Town Manager Robert Lee. "And that 25 percent would make a difference between their ability to go out and buy another house."

Ten of the homeowners decided to take the federal funding and rebuild their homes in the neighborhood.

"It's not feasible for us to take the buyout the way it's structured," said homeowner Sandra Soucy.

Plainville town officials said they plan to demolish the homes taking the buyout, which will leave behind a very different neighborhood. Demolition is expected to be done by the summer.

"No matter what, if it's 75 percent I still have to go through with it," Iris said. "I won't walk away with much, but I still have to go through with it."

Town officials said they expect to known if the homeowners will receive the other 25 percent sometime in spring.

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