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Residents who live in flood zones afraid they will lose their homes

Posted at 6:17 PM, Feb 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-24 18:26:12-05

MARTIN COUNTY — People who live in flood zones are worried they could lose their homes after they received a notice from the Department of Natural Resources to leave and tear down their homes.

Debra Beasley built her legacy as the owner of Beasley's Orchard in Danville, but beyond the orchard, she wanted to have a family getaway place. In 2017, she did this when she bought a cabin in Martin County, but now they say the DNR wants it gone because there's a loss risk.

"This was a life long dream of my moms to have a family getaway place," Lyra Baitis said. "She worked really hard to save up for this cabin."

The family got a letter last spring saying they wouldn't budge or work with them.

"Not only are you out of your home that you've been paying for 10 to 20 years, you also have to pay to have it torn down," Batis said.

The family says this could impact thousands of other families, too.

Mark Kreger says he has lived along the White River since the 1970s.

"They'll carry me out of here boot first or float me out," Kreger said.

He hasn't received a letter from DNR, but says he doesn't agree with the process after RTV6 told him other people got letters.

Senate Bill 433 would keep DNR from exercising its authority to remove a home in a flood zone under certain circumstances.

Even if the bill makes it past the Natural Resources Committee in the House, this family still won't be able to keep their cabin, but they could get money to reinvest in a new cabin.

RTV6 reached out to, Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville), who chairs the Natural Resources committee that needs to hear the bill, and is awaiting a response.

DNR released the following statement regarding the bill:
"Due to pending legislation and an ongoing legal review by an administrative law judge, the Department of Natural Resources cannot comment on this matter at this time."

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