Moran: Not enough money for Huntington levee or pump station

(Photo: Gail Pennybacker)

While dozens of Huntington residents are still without electricity after Thursday's flash floods ripped into their homes, Congressman Jim Moran said there isn't enough money to rebuild.

"The public sector is not going to come up with the money. That's just the reality," said Moran (D-Virginia). "There will not be enough money to do what needs to be done, pumping station, it would cost millions to build."

"I'm afraid the only solution here for it not to happen again and it is not what the people want and it's not what I want to tell then," he said. "We're going to have to take down some of these homes and probably bring in private development."

Moran spoke after touring the community.

Pounding rains in the D.C region last week flooded roads, left businesses and homes waterlogged and is being blamed for three deaths in Virginia, including the drowning of a 12-year-old boy.

About 160 homes in Huntington were without gas and electricity last week. Gov. Bob McDonnell has declared a state of emergency in response to flooding triggered by rains from Tropical Storm Lee's remnants.

Homeowner Michael Riley says, "I think it's unfortunate that the county, the federal and state government won't pay to rebuild."

Others in this community are concerned with their investment.

Some here paid $400,000 dollars for their duplexes in Huntington, homes that were built in 1949. One homeowner says his house is worth a third of that now.

"What is a fair market value in an economy in the shape our economy is in and in a neighborhood post flood?" asks resident Leah Gold.

For Amy Barnish, the idea of moving out is as devastating as losing all her belongings and her car twice since the flood of 2006.

“I know the land right now is worth more than the house because we're right outside Old Town, we have the Huntington Metro right here,” Barnish said.