By Emily Bialkowski
The flash flood of June 22 wreaked havoc on farms, some businesses, Houston County infrastructure and tore away the very foundation of one Brownsville home.
Joel and Jenni Alameida live in the small subdivision on Spring Court and became the victim of Mother Nature’s power when Spring Creek turned into a river and scraped away the hillside at the back of their house.
Part of their home’s foundation now sits exposed, a back deck dangles half off, half in the embankment and, should any of it give, the house might actually slide into the creek.
In response, representatives from the local Natural Resources Conservation Office asked for emergency watershed protection program dollars with the blessing of the county board.
This program will pick up 75 percent of the cost of shoring up the embankment. The other 25 percent will have to paid for by the Alameida’s and only after they pay for 100 percent of their home repairs.
Ron Meiners, who has been speaking on the family’s behalf at county board meetings, said estimates on the embankment started at $54,000 and may go as high as $80,000.
The county board had the option of covering the other 25 percent of slope repairs but voted not to over fear of setting a precedence.
Meiners said he believed the Alameida’s are grateful for any help they can get. “They’ve just been so great to work with through this stressful situation,” he said.
The couple has two children and a third on the way.
If other flood aid were to come in the county board could choose to use that to pay the 25 percent, but since there is no guarantee of that now, they agreed not to extend additional help at this time.
“I guess, with regret, we make it the landowners responsibility,” Commissioner Steve Schuldt said.