Only on 12: Augusta to spend more than $1M to purchase flood-prone homes

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email
Augusta has a close to $2 million plan that allows the city to purchase more than 30 flood-prone properties. (WRDW-TV)

Augusta has a close to $2 million plan that allows the city to purchase more than 30 flood-prone properties. (WRDW-TV)

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- There is record flooding across the East Coast after Superstorm Sandy made landfall. Many families are sure to face months of headaches due to flooding. Augusta families are still reeling from floods that slammed the city back in August.

We got our hands on a close to $2 million plan that allows the city to purchase more than 30 flood-prone properties.

Augusta families are still feeling the pain of massive flooding that slammed the Hollywood Subdivision back in August.

"If this had not flooded, my 2-year-old child, my 4-year-old daughter and my 13-year-old stepdaughter would have a home instead of a 10-by-6 room at my brother-in-law's apartment," screamed B.B. Langham.

To add insult to injury, the city slapped Langham with a trash citation.

"I find it funny that all of sudden they care about the trash," Langham said. "I mean, in August when we were flooded, they didn't care about us getting flooded."

The marshals cited Langham on Oct. 17, telling him to clean up the debris or face fines and jail time.

"I find it almost ridiculous because this should have been picked up by the city months ago," Langham said.

The home at 1920 Clark Drive is now clear of all the debris, but it's also a property the city has on a list of several properties to be purchased because of "repeated flooding" in the area.

"I wasn't aware and I don't think my deputy was aware that the city had made any plans to purchase the property," said Marshal Steve Smith.

The Langham home is at the top of the list of 35 structures around town the city plans to buy because "removal of theses structures is the only viable option."

"Well, it's about time," Langham said. "That is all I can say. It is about time."

So why the threats of fines and jail time?

"The fact that you got a tough life doesn't give you a card to get out of jail free," said City Administrator Fred Russell.

Marshal Smith insists the intention is not to harass.

"They want these people to keep their property cleaned up," Smith said. "If that is done, I think the judge will have some mercy on him."

Langham is now making a threat of his own.

"If I have to take off to go to court, that is costing me more money," Langham said. "And I consider that pain and suffering."

A deputy will ride by Langham's home again next Wednesday. Langham is due in court next Thursday. The city is offering close to $50,000 for the home.

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