< html > The Associated Press
Bolivar Commercial
 LATEST NEWS
 Top Stories
 U.S.
  Severe Weather
  Bird Flu
 World
  Castro
  Mideast Crisis
  Iraq
 Business
 Personal Finance
 Technology
 Sports
  Sports Columns
  NASCAR
  Baseball
  College Hoops
  NBA
  NHL
  Tennis
  Golf
 Entertainment
 Health
 Science
 Politics
 Washington
 Offbeat
 Podcasts
 Blogs
 Weather
 Raw News
 NEWS SEARCH
 
 Archive Search
 SPECIAL SECTIONS
 Multimedia Gallery
 AP Video Network
 Today
 in History
 Corrections
Dec 7, 1:10 PM EST

Houston residents may need to raise homes after Harvey


HOUSTON (AP) -- More than 1,600 Houston residents whose properties flooded during and after Hurricane Harvey may need to elevate their homes if they want to continue living there.

The city's Public Works Department is getting ready to notify property owners in floodplains that their structures have been declared "substantially damaged." The department said more than 30,500 structures sitting within the city's floodplains took on some flooding from the hurricane and the heavy rains that followed, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Those homes will need additional, expensive repairs to meet current building codes. Such repairs could mean physically raising homes, an upgrade officials said could cost more than $150,000.

Public Works officials said more than 1,600 letters are going out this month to the first set of properties identified as so severely damaged that repairs would cost more than 50 percent of the structure's market value.

"The letter of substantial damage is a tool for the city of Houston to ensure people are not repairing houses that really shouldn't be repaired," said Ed Wolff, a resident who received his letter Tuesday.

Wolff said his home needs the designation so he can be eligible for a mitigation loan to elevate his house, which flooded for the third time in three years. Wolff said he plans to elevate his house 6 feet (1.8 meters), which is 3 feet (1 meter) above the water line from Harvey. He said the elevation will cost more than $270,000.

"The expense is tremendous," said Houston Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen. "It's difficult, but there are going to be decisions that have to be made."

The Public Works Department is still working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get a final count of properties that will be identified.

---

Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.