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An increase in rainfall for this region has lead to heightened flood levels along Lake Taneycomo, forcing some local residents in the area to abandon plans to rebuild their homes. KSMU’s Justin Lux has the details.
With heavy amounts of rain producing major floods during the months of April and May, residents’ homes quickly began filling with water, even reaching eight feet in some places.
However, as the residents have begun to rebuild they’ve been met with several restrictions that have only made their attempts more difficult.
Branson Planning Director Jim Lawson says he recently sent out a letter outlining FEMA guidelines. The letter stated that if it takes 50% more than the actual value of the home to rebuild, then the home must come in compliance with floodplain regulations.
“What that normally means is that the house has to have the living floor, the first floor, above the flood elevation line,” Lawson explains.
Lawson explains the most practical way to elevate the homes is on stilts since the lots are too small to raise the ground level. He says that while some people intend to rebuild, others have different plans.
“Other folks have said that they really don’t want to rebuild so they may tear their house down and then sell the lot. Then we had one group that has a large family and they have a boat dock and they’ve even talked about tearing the house down and just creating private park space,” he says.
While Lawson says he doesn’t see much the area can do to protect against the floods at this point, he explains people are now seeing the drawbacks to building in that area.
“I think people have begun to realize now that living in the flood plains, even though it’s beautiful to live along the water, the flood plain is dangerous,” says Lawson.
The number of condemned homes has reached 24, but it is possible that the number could grow.
For KSMU News, I’m Justin Lux.