Two Webster Groves properties with repetitive flood damage may soon see financial relief after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that a grant covering the demolition of homes has made it through initial reviews. The Council voted on Tuesday, September 5 to enter into an agreement with FEMA for the completion of the project pending further FEMA reviews.
The two homes, located at 843 N. Forest and 844 E. Pacific are single-family residential properties located in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and were substantially damaged in the July 2022 flooding event and previous flooding incidents. FEMA estimates that $578,730 in federal and local funding is necessary for the acquisition and demolition of two properties with single family homes. The City of Webster Groves would potentially pay ten percent of the overall costs of the acquisition and demolition.
“We are grateful to FEMA for providing these funds and allowing us to assist these residents in rebuilding their lives after the 2022 flooding,” said Laura Arnold, Mayor of Webster Groves. “The members of Council heard from residents throughout the past year about the flooding and the need for help from FEMA. These generous funds will enable us to mitigate flood damage in the future at a very reasonable cost for the city. Their support reflects a shared commitment to the well-being of our residents.”
Once demolished, the properties would be owned by the City of Webster Groves and would be deed restricted to prevent any construction or use other than green space.
Kaylah Homire, one of the homeowners, has been awaiting the FEMA decision for more than a year.
“I am extremely grateful for the decision made by FEMA,” said Homire. “This was a well thought out and extensive process, and it's obvious that decision was not come too lightly. This decision means I get to move past this disaster. The devastation and loss was immeasurable and knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel is a welcomed comfort.”
The City of Webster Groves was one of four Missouri cities to receive the funding from FEMA. University City, Ladue and Springfield, Mo. Also received funds to help reduce the impacts of future floods. These grants help states, local communities, tribes, and territories fund hazard mitigation projects that reduce the risks from disasters and natural hazards and emphasize the need for resilient infrastructure.
You can view the FEMA release here.