Elevation an issue for flood damaged homes in Travis County

Many homeowners in Graveyard Point will have to elevate their houses several-feet before they can begin to make repairs.

Travis County issued notices to homeowners with flood damage requiring them to get a permit. The reason is many do not comply with their current flood plain regulations.

So far, the county has issued more than 400 notices across areas impacted by the October flood. Before you can get a permit, the county will send people out to inspect the area to see if anything does not fall into their flood plain regulations.

Piles upon piles of debris line the street at graveyard point.

“I had no idea there would be any resources to help me and I thought that I was all alone on this planet,” said Kim Lagrowne a graveyard point resident.

Lagrowne estimates her damage is well into several thousand just on the stuff she lost alone.

“It's been a tragedy for me I was inching toward a point of frozen death you know being alive but being dead it's how I was beginning to feel,” said Lagrowne.

According to Lagrowne, her big concern was having to go through this ordeal all on her own, until recently.

“All these people came and in 2 days they did all this hard labor which nobody would ever want to do they gave up their Saturday and Sunday for me,” said Lagrowne.

Local church groups helped to clean up the mess across the area.

“That's the miracle right there, they brought me and lifted me from this,” said Lagrown

While cleanup is underway, construction to rebuild is put on hold.

“We want our flood plains regulated we don't want to have to keep doing this over and over,” said Stacey Scheffel the flood plain administrator for Travis County.

Travis County placed red notices on several homes requiring the owners to get a permit before starting repairs.

“According to FEMA they'll call it a volunteer thing but state law requires we adopt regulations to do this,” said Scheffel.

According to Travis County, many of the homes in the area were built before they made flood plain regulations for the area. This means before a home can get a permit they need to fall into compliance with these regulations. One issue some of the homes are going to run into is elevation. According to the county if your area sustained over 50% damage you're going to have to build over 723 feet and right now many are only at 700.

“There's companies out there that do it a lot of folk what they will do is just abandon their regular structure and build something higher,” said Scheffel.

Building without a permit could lead to legal trouble with the county. Just because you get a red notice doesn't mean elevation is an issue. Scheffel with the said it means they will need to inspect the homes first. These permits aren't cheap, costing around $115.

Tuesday, the county plans to discusses the permit issue for flood damaged homes as well as potentially waving this fee.