The Watershed Protection Department is buying out flood-prone homes within the Onion Creek Forest, Onion Creek Plantation, Silverstone and Yarrabee Bend neighborhoods.
We have partnered with the Corps of Engineers since 1999 to find solutions to flooding. Our joint study recommended buying out 483 homes in the 25-year floodplain, restoring the riparian areas along Onion Creek and converting the area to a park.
The homes in the project area were selected due to their high risk of flooding. These neighborhoods experienced serious flooding in 1998, 2001 and 2013. At the time of the Halloween Flood, we had already purchased 323 homes.
On June 26, 2014, the Austin City Council approved $35.5 million in Certificates of Obligation to expand the buyout program beyond the Corps project area for approximately 140 homes in the 25-year floodplain.
Corps Project Funding
Funding was designated to be shared 35% locally and 65% federally. The U.S. Congress authorized the project in 2007, but federal funding was not approved until March 2014. As a result, the City has spent more than its 35% share.
In March 2014, $11.8 million in federal funding was approved for the City and Travis County. The details of the partnership agreement will be worked out by August.
Recovery Buyout Program: Includes the buyout of 116 homes in the project area. The process is ongoing, with 114 offers made and 92 closings as of July 2, 2014.
Remaining Corps of Engineers Buyouts: 44 properties remain in the project area. The recent federal funding may be used to begin these buyouts. It may not be enough to buy all the properties this year. Property owners will be contacted directly by us as funding becomes available for their properties.
Certifcates of Obligation: Includes the buyout of approximately 140 homes outside the Corps project area. Property owners will be contacted directly by us.
Outside the Project Area: Approximately 230 structures in the area of William Cannon and Pleasant Valley Roads remain at risk of flooding in a 100-year storm outside of these buyout areas. We are diligently pursuing funding to buy out these houses. Call 512-974-2843.