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POWDER SPRINGS: Flood damaged homes will be demolished | News

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POWDER SPRINGS: Flood damaged homes will be demolished
POWDER SPRINGS: Flood damaged homes will be demolished

POWDER SPRINGS, Ga. -- Nearly two years after devastating floods, Cobb County is ready to demolish dozens of flood damaged homes.

The county has hired a demolition firm that will begin tearing down damaged homes next week. One of the first to go will be the home Danny and Deniese Quinones purchased 11 years ago. It was their dream home until flood waters covered the entire first floor.

"I'm sad because it was our first house," said Deniese Quinones. "We have a lot of memories here. It does break our heart, but we don't want to stay."

The Quinones home is among 50 in Powder Springs and unincorporated Cobb County have been approved for a flood buy out program. Federal, state, and local money is used to purchase homes with significant damage that are within the 100 year flood plain. The homes are torn down and the lots left empty in case there is flooding in the future.

Bill Higgins of the Cobb County Water System said out of those 50 homes, the county has reached an agreement with the homeowners to buy and demolish 35 of them. Negotiations are ongoing with the remaining owners. Some of the homes are foreclosures, which complicates the negotiations.

Higgins said before the homes could be demolished, the county first had to wait for a federal grant that was held up in Washington for nine months. Once that was approved, the county then began negotiating with homeowners over purchase price while searching for a demolition company to do the work.

Danny Quinones said the wait was somewhat frustrating.

"The wait was kind of prolonged," said Quinones. "At times you got desperate because you didn't know what to expect."

The couple received their buy out check last December, and used the money to buy another home. They plan to be there when the flood damaged home they left meets the wrecking ball.

"We have to continue forward and leave this home in a corner of our hearts," said Deniese Quinones.

Higgins said since the 2009 flood, Cobb County has redrawn the 100 year flood plain, meaning an additional 33 damaged homes may qualify for the buy out program. The county is waiting for final approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.