SPILLVILLE, Iowa — Long-awaited relief is finally coming to a community that was hit hard by flooding last fall.
Over 200 businesses and dozens of homes in Winneshiek County were damaged. Elizabeth Amanieh of KWWL talked to one family about how they are now getting their life back to normal.
“The light is there at the end of the tunnel. We’re happy to see it,” said John Cox.
Cox and his family had no choice but to leave their flooded home near the Turkey River back in August.
“In my opinion it would’ve been better and easier had a tornado hit it,” he said.
Even though the flood forced his family out of their home, they were still left footing the mortgage.
“Six hundred fifty dollars a month for mortgage and $650 a month for rent, you know it’s stretching it,” he said.
After six months, the City of Spillville completed paperwork with FEMA, who agreed to buy out Cox’s home.
“It there’s any bright lining to this, it was assessed and they’re going to buy it out for more than we payed for it.”
FEMA is also buying out three other homes in the city.
Even after seeing its second flood, Cox said his home will be missed.
“It’s still hard coming back to an empty house. To see, you know, we had been here for eight years. This is the only house the kids really knew, and so it’s kinda hard coming back to it. The town is great, small, everybody knows each other, we just don’t want to live this close to the river anymore.”
FEMA’s flood mitigation program allows families like the Coxes to get a fresh start and buy a new home outside the flood zone.