City won’t charge penalty for razing flooded homes

Published 12:05 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Owners of Vicksburg properties that were overtaken by spring flooding and whose homes are demolished by the city will not be charged the usual penalty for razings.

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday waived for six months the penalty the city charges for demolishing and clearing dilapidated buildings. The waiver can be extended, Mayor Paul Winfield said.

He said the waiver applies only to property owners in areas described as the city’s 1 percent, or floodplain area, such as the Kings community west of North Washington Street and the Warrenton Place and Cedars School areas west of U.S. 61 South.

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“This is a way to help those people in those areas,” Winfield said.

“This was not something that was the fault of the property owners,” city attorney Lee Davis Thames Jr. said. “This was caused by flooding from the Mississippi River.”

Residents in those areas were forced to leave their homes in early May as the Mississippi River rose to a historic 57.1 feet, 14.1 feet above flood stage, and 1.3 feet above the Great Flood of 1927.

Floodwaters severely damaged many of the homes in Kings, making some of them either uninhabitable or too expensive to repair. In some areas of Kings, water moved homes off their foundations.