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Floodplain Quick Buy Program

After very destructive floods, Storm Water Services has occasionally used a “Quick Buy” program to buy some damaged buildings that are at high risk of flooding again. The homes are torn down and the floodplain is restored as permanent open space. The voluntary sale of flood-prone property is part of Storm Water Services' ongoing Floodplain Buyout Program

Why a “Quick Buy”?
These floodplain buyouts are paid for entirely with local money. That allows Storm Water Services to:
  • quickly buy eligible properties before flood damage is repaired
  • prevent future loss of life and property at buildings that repeatedly flood
  • use locally-set criteria to determine which properties are eligible
  • return the floodplain to a natural condition.
It's called a 'Quick Buy' because it doesn't involve federal funding or the time-consuming process of obtaining federal grant money to help buy the damaged homes. Quick Buys are done with local money in a matter of months. Similar buyouts using federal matching grants can take a year or more.
Not all flood-damaged property is eligible for a Quick Buy. Local elected officials decide the eligibility criteria. Floodplain Buyouts must benefit the entire community and must fit within the local budget for floodplain buyouts. 

2011 Quick Buy

Stewart Creek flooded streets and homes in Aug. 2011 Stewart Creek flooded streets and homes 
in Aug. 2011

  ​ After destructive flooding in west Charlotte on Aug. 5, 2011, 21 homeowners agreed to sell. All of the 2011 Quick Buy properties were along Irwin Creek or Stewart Creek.

Estimated cost:
$1.039 million (purchase and demolition of 21 homes)

Source of funding:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services fees

The Board of County Commissioners voted in September 2011 to spend Storm Water fee revenue for the Quick Buy.

Read the Board’s Resolution

See a presentation to the Board about the 2011 Quick Buy.

2008 Quick Buy
In late 2008, the Quick Buy program was used to purchase 37 houses with heavy damage from floods that occurred in August and September of that year. Most were in east Charlotte. Qualifying properties had to meet specific criteria such as the risk of repeated flooding or proximity to future greenway or park land.
Read the news release about the final 2008 Quick Buy purchase.

Most of the funding for the 2008 Quick Buy came from Storm Water Services fee revenue. A few houses were purchased with Park and Recreation Bond funds because those properties were in the path of a future greenway or park.

video describes the 2008 Quick Buy program.

Read the Board's
Resolution regarding the Quick Buy.

 House in floodwater

Wetland at former buyout site on Westfield Drive
Homes were acquired, torn down and the floodplain restored along Westfield Road 

  ​ Storm Water Services' Floodplain Buyout Program is one way to protect lives and property from flood losses. The floodplain is returned to open space, sometimes with amenities such as a greenway or features to remove pollution from storm water runoff. Most previous buyouts have been through federal or state grants. Storm Water Services will continue to pursue outside grants for future buyouts.

Floodplain Quick Buy contact:
David Love, P.E., C.F.M.​
Project Manager
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services