Gloucester County officials work to help save homes in flood-prone areas

Posted at 6:03 PM, Jul 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-28 18:03:08-04

Gloucester County, Va. -  As far as storms go, the 2009 nor'easter wasn't particularly powerful. But in Gloucester, it altered lives.

“The only thing that we were able to take away were our dishes that were in the cabinets. The beds, the TVs, everything, was destroyed,” says Crystal Brown.

Last December, five years after the flood, Brown moved back to her home, except now her home is 12 feet higher.

Gloucester County has relentlessly pursued federal funds to elevate the houses that flood most. This month, the state announced federal funds got two more off the ground, properties that had been on a waiting list since the 2009 storm.

In all, 51 homes are now above the flood plane in an area where commercial fisherman have lived for generations. An area so surrounded by water that crabs share the yards.

“I've lived here my whole life. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else,” says Brown.

County officials say their mission is to help families like Crystal's stay in the homes. They've netted $10 million in 10 years to raise houses or to relocate families. For Crystal, it means she'll worry less about the next big storm.

“I know that when we are able to come back, everything that we own will not be destroyed,” says Brown.