Olive Branch community talks post flood plans - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Olive Branch community talks post flood plans

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OLIVE BRANCH, IL (KFVS) -

After severe flooding in the Heartland, communities have worked to clean up the mess.

The community of Olive Branch met Thursday night to talk about a couple of issues surrounding rebuilding after the flooding. One, they talked about the idea to potentially develop the area in another non-flood plain spot; second, people wanted to talk about the FEMA buyout.

Beth Ellison said FEMA will provide the buyout money, it's just a matter of time depending on paperwork.

People will have a couple of choices if they signed up for the FEMA list. They can either participate in a buyout, meaning their land will belong to the county, and they will rebuild elsewhere. They can physically move their house if it's cost effective, or they can raise it to prevent flood problems in the future.

"If they give me the right price for my house and my business, both of them are on the lake about two miles apart, if the price is right I will, if not, I'll stay there. Of course we hate leaving our home, we've been there 32 years," said James Melton.

"If the price is right, we would move, cause we've got a lot invested in our house, we've got more than the 30 thousand dollars, that we were given," said Phyllis Eecord.

As far as rebuilding the community in a non-flood plain location, they formed a committee for the Olive Branch Area Community Development Corporation. Group members said it's a 10 person committee, and they will elect a President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer soon. The committee is working on details like a location for the potential new development.

The committee is planning to hold an event with architects, contractors, and other professionals to listen to their ideas for the potential new development. It will be May 17 – 20th.

Eecord said moving the town is a good idea for some people, to other is won't really affect them.

"We've got farmland, and we don't have real close neighbors and that's what we like, but other people like close neighbors, so a new neighborhood, someplace else, for Olive Branch, would be good," said Eecord.

"If I move I'm not going to have neighbors, I'm going to buy a few acres of ground, something I've wanted to do for years anyway, go that route, but I think it's great for people who want to, because it would help the community out, keep it together anyway," said James Melton.

"I came to the meeting tonight so all of us can get together in the area, and possible get a new place for everybody to live who got flooded out last year," said Eecord. "One day my husband says he wants to move, and then the next day he says he don't. But he said too if we get flooded again at our age, there's no way that we'd be able to do what we did this time."

"This flood was scary, we've never had water in our yard before, and to have two feet of water in our house it changes your mind about a lot of things," said Melton.

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