Will a buyout come to Barton Beach Road?

An ice jam caused flooding on Barton Beach Road and homeowners faced evacuation last week. (WLFI Photo)
An ice jam caused flooding on Barton Beach Road and homeowners faced evacuation last week. (WLFI Photo)

TIPPECANOE CO., Ind. (WLFI) – A bathroom is not where everyone finds peace.

“I kind of come here for peace because this is the part of the house that’s clean and not dusty,” Barton Beach Road resident Debbie Philpott said while standing in her bathroom.

Clean up continues on Barton Beach Road. Philpott did not have flood insurance when an ice jam caused major flooding in her home. Now family members are working around the clock to get it repaired.

“The sub-flooring and the ply wood were all damaged and everything had to be taken up,” Philpott said.

As work continues, Philpott is thinking about the future and the possibility of a buyout.

“We keep hearing it, you know,” Philpott said. “Show me the money, and we’ll be out of here in a heartbeat, but we have to have a place to live now.”

“It’s based on damages,” Tippecanoe County Grant Administrator Laurie Wilson said. “If your house is damaged 50 percent or more, if it’s a major damage or a full loss then they are eligible.”

Wilson said she is working with the Area Plan Commission and building department to get a buyout grant application completed.

Philpott considered a buyout after a 2003 flood, but that buyout never came. Nothing is guaranteed this time either.

“There are no official buyout offers,” Wilson said. “That’s a lengthy process, anywhere from six to 18 months.”

“All we can do is move up, remodel and go on with our lives,” Philpott said.

Wilson said once the application is complete it will be sent to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security then to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA will decide if the area is a disaster zone and if the area is eligible for a federal buyout grant.

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