Residents want to ensure $60M designated for flood damage used properly

Residents want to ensure $60M designated for flood damage used properly

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - It's been seven years since flood waters filled the streets in Shelby County, and though the flooding is now gone, it left a significant amount of damage behind.

"We experienced probably a 100-year flood down here, and it totally devastated the homes that are in the flood plane," Pastor George Ward, with Christ Temple Holy Assembly Church, said.

In 2016, the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development or HUD awarded Shelby County a $60 million grant to prevent the flooding from happening in the future.

"Those funds go towards three projects throughout the county. One of them is in Millington, one along the Wolf River affecting communities in Frayser, Raleigh, and North Memphis and then one along South Cypress Creek which is in the Southwest part of the city and the county," John Zeanah, director of the Division of Planning and Development in Shelby County, said.

Pastor Ward said he's grateful for the funding, but has concerns about how it's being used.

"Some of it is good, but we feel like it doesn't address the victims very well," he said.

Ward pointed out the vacant and boarded up homes in the neighborhood that are still left behind from the storm.

"We want them to come back and give us clear answers as to why this money was allocated the way it was," he said.

Zeanah said there's money in the budget to buy out or build new properties, and it's the county's priority to make sure the community makes a full recovery.

"Ultimately, it's about reducing the risk of flooding for their neighborhood long term and so that is very important," he said.

Shelby County and Memphis City leaders are hosting a meeting Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Mitchell High School to get resident feedback on the plan.

The plans have to be fully implemented by 2022.

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