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Fernwood targeted for flood buyouts

City invests $480,000 to shield neighborhood

Several homeowners in the Ferndale neighborhood have agreed to sell their properties to Fort Wayne because of flooding issues, the mayor’s office announced Wednesday.

Heavy rain in April caused flash flooding so severe that some residents in the neighborhood had to be evacuated by boat.

Homes in the area of Dalevue Drive and Fernwood Avenue will be bought for a total of $480,000, Mayor Tom Henry said.

The city Board of Works approved the purchases Wednesday. They will also go before the City Council for approval.The buyouts were voluntary, and the homes will be demolished this year.

A larger-capacity stormwater pipe will be installed along with an earthen berm to protect the homes that remain in the area, officials said.

City Utilities will soon advertise for bids to construct the stormwater pipe, officials said, and design work is moving forward on the earthen berm to protect the area up to the 100-year flood stage.

The Ferndale neighborhood has had frequent flooding over the years after heavy rains, primarily because the Fairfield Ditch runs behind homes there.

After April’s flooding, Henry walked the neighborhood and met with residents, some who said the city should do more to protect the area from flooding.

“We’ve worked closely with the Army Corp of Engineers to come up with a solution to protect the area,” Henry said, adding that funding is tight and the city cannot wait on the federal government to intervene and help.

“This is an appropriate investment of local dollars to help our community,” Henry said.