Some Tornado Victims May not be Allowed to Re-Build

FEMA’s restrictive land-use policies are showing up in Oklahoma City, impacting land owners trying to rebuild after May’s devastating tornadoes.

6/26/13 From KFOR in Oklahoma City:

Tornado Victims Unable to get permits to rebuild their homes

OKLAHOMA CITY- Some tornado victims, who lost their homes, fear that they may not be able to re-build. Rhonda Northcutt said she is unable to get a building permit from the city because of where her home was located before it was destroyed.

“It is just unimaginable that I have to go to bed at night thinking that I even have to deal with this,” Northcutt said.

Northcutt and her neighbor Jennifer Wisooker live in a neighborhood near May and SW 149th street. Their homes were destroyed by the May 20th tornado.

According to the city, there are homes in the neighborhood that are located in an area designated as a flood way. The city said it is unable to give permits to build new homes in these types of areas because of FEMA requirements. Even though their homes were there before the storm, Wisooker and Northcutt might not be able to re-build.

“For 29 years that’s been my home and that sense of home I’ll never have again; that sense of familiarity it is just gone,” Wisooker said.

Both women said they own their property and have received insurance money to re-build. The city has contacted FEMA about the problem. A city official told NewsChannel 4 the city is trying to work with the families and help them as much as possible.

“I don’t need them to decide whether I’ll be safe or not on my own land,” Wisooker added.


Link to full story and video:

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