Changes made after 2004 flooding saved some homeowners this week

Changes made after 2004 flooding saved some homeowners this week

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Federal and local assistance is available for homeowners impacted by the massive flooding in northwest Mecklenburg County.

Several homes off Riverhaven Drive and Riverside Drive were destroyed by flooding of the Catawba River.

Homeowners report the floodwaters to be significantly higher than they were in 2004, the last time this area saw major flooding.

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Following the flooding in 2004, many homeowners applied for assistance with FEMA. FEMA provided up to $30,000 for homeowners to elevate their properties above the 100-year floodmark.

Most of the homes that chose that route experienced minimum damage.

FEMA still offers the same assistance.

According to FEMA, property owners who have a flood-insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program and a substantially damaged building in a Special Flood Hazard Area may be able to use additional funds from their policy (up to $30,000) to help defray the costs of elevating, relocating or demolishing a structure.

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Mecklenburg County project manager David Love says Mecklenburg County offers assistance too.

Love says there will likely be community meetings to discuss available resources with impacted homeowners.

"There's a lot of people impacted here and we're gonna have to address each needs individually," Love said. "This is the worst I've seen, not the most number of houses but the most damage."

Longtime property owner Tommy Bynum says after the 2004 flood, most of his neighbors chose to apply for assistance through FEMA to elevate their homes. Bynum did not because at the time his house was not in the floodplain. During last weekend's storms, his lower part of his house suffered thousands in damages.

"This might be the camel that breaks a lot of people's backs," he said. "It's too much and it keeps getting worse."

Bynum says he is planning to either apply for assistance or sell his home.