TRAVIS COUNTY -- Hundreds were devastated when massive floods rolled through Travis County last October. Many lost everything.
County Commissioners Tuesday approved adding $1.8 million to the $4.4 million already set aside to buy devastated homes in the unincorporated areas of the county.
Kelly Gorbet and his family have been living in the Timber Creek neighborhood for close to 20 years.
“We had the flood of '98 and the flood of '01, and then this flood, and it's progressively getting worse,” Gorbet said.
After last year's Halloween flood he's decided to move on and take advantage of Travis County's buyout program.
“I think it's going to work out great for us in the long run,” Gorbet said.
Gorbet’s property and others in the Timber Creek neighborhood were already approved for a buyout before the Halloween flood.
Melinda Mallia, the head of the buyout program, says so far 29 homeowners in the Timber Creek neighborhood have applied for a buyout. Thirty-one others living in the Onion Creek neighborhood have applied as well. Nine businesses in the Onion Creek area have also applied.
Mallia says the county has never bought out a business and must decide how to do it.
“There's two ways they could go,” Mallia said. “One would be to include those in a separate grant application that would be for commercial, or they could come up with the money. That's always an option.”
The county also wants to help those who sustained less serious damage to their homes.
“We would like to roll them into buyout application for grant funds from FEMA. We're able to do this because that presidential disaster declaration was awarded,” Mallia said.
She estimates it will take more than $13 million to buyout the devastated homes and businesses in the unincorporated area of the county.
Gorbet says that money will be well-spent to help get families back on their feet in a new home.
“Understanding the forces of nature, I guess, will help you make up your decision on moving here or moving out,” he said.
The county says it's working as quickly as it can, but the buyout program is going to take years to finish.
Some Timber Creek residents say the sales of their homes to the county have already been approved.