City of Austell buying more than a dozen homes destroyed by hist - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

City of Austell buying more than a dozen homes destroyed by historic flood


The great flood of 2009 damaged and destroyed dozens of homes, including Glenn Taylor's.

"The flood waters came in and went four foot in," said Taylor.

Although he said he endured a lot of red tape, Taylor was able to rebuild his mother's home, but he said five years later he's still surrounded by flood ravaged dilapidated homes abandoned by their owners.

"I would love to see them torn down. I'd love to see this one torn down," Taylor said.

"We'd like to get it cleaned up," said Joe Jerkins, the Mayor of Austell.

Jerkins said the city is in the middle of a home buying spree.
It's an effort to get rid of the homes that are not only dangerous, but also eyesores.

"We got a good many of them torn down and I think it's been over 30 torn down, and of course once they are torn down they can't be built back. We are moving along but it is slow. We are working on a good many now. We signed the papers on one yesterday," Jerkins said.

Jerkins said when it is all said and done, the city will have bought a total of 71 homes.

"There are 18 left that's been approved. It's just a slow process, we have to buy them out ourselves, then pay for them and then Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency pays us back. It takes a good bit of money, some of them are $200,000 or $300,000 homes," Jerkins said. 

Jerkins said the city has closed on eight homes so far this year.
Taylor is hoping they get to his neighborhood soon.

The house next door to me should not be here. It should be cleaned off and left empty, vacant," Taylor said.

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