OKC Landowners Receive More Bad News About Rebuilding After Tornado

Monday, July 15th 2013, 12:04 am
By: News 9

Earlier this week, we told you about a group of homeowners in Southwest OKC who lost their homes to the May 20 tornado.

They were told they could not rebuild because their homes are in a floodway zone.

Well, the homeowners just got word that there might be a possibility they can rebuild after all, but it's a bittersweet deal because they told their resale values are going to plummet.

Jennifer Wisooker says it took her grandfather a year and half to build their home Saint Claire in Southwest Oklahoma City, and in less than 5 minutes a tornado took it away.

And to make matters worse, she and 12 of her neighbors were told they cannot rebuild on their land because it is against a city ordinance to rebuild on the floodway way zone their homes sit on, which FEMA determined a decade ago.

"Our land is worth nothing and we have no rights to it as it is a floodway," Wisooker said. "We can't have the home that he built, but I would love the be able to have the rights to build on it again so that I can have at least the land that he worked so hard for."

Wiisooker was told FEMA was not going to buy all the floodway land, but there still is a chance the homeowners could rebuild.

But Wisooker wants more than that, she wants the floodway status lifted off her property so that it can be worth something if they ever sell it.

"It's just very important for me to have," Wisooker said. "I mean, I want my daughter to grow up on this land."

Wisooker says although FEMA zoned this area to be in a floodway in 2002, she says it hasn't flooded here one time in over two decades, yet she pays high flood insurance every month.

The residents say the city will let landowners know for sure if they're able to rebuild or not at the July 30 city council meeting.