PINE GROVE — The first home in the government’s so-called buy out program was sold today in Pine Grove.
Folks in Pine Grove has seen flooding time and time again. The water comes from Swatera creek. The last flood was just too much for some homeowners, their properties wrecked almost beyond repair.
But there was laughter and hugs at the borough building this day, as officials gathered with flood victims Lisa and Derek Tobias. Their home was the first to be bought by the borough. Mostly state and federal funds were used. Derek Tobias is greatful for the help.
“We had been flooded there before, we redid that whole house and so it was rough to walk in and see it all just destroyed .” Tobias said.
Lisa Tobias said Selling their home was filled with emotion.
“We spent a lot of time there, our son grew up there and it’s just sad! I know not just us a lot of other people had memories there and it’s going to be sad to see it go but it’s the best thing it really is.”
Mayor Kimberly Brown-Zerbe said the buyouts should give some financial relief to flood victims.
“So for over a year they have been living in F.E.M.A homes or other places and a couple have moved on but they still have a mortgage and another house that is out there.”
There are 11 families involved. Officials say once the paperwork is done on the finial property, the borough has 90 days to demolish the homes and no one can ever build there again.