Kentucky homes torn down after unrelenting floods

Two hundred years ago, a stream ran through the Maple Street area of Louisville, Kentucky. After the water dried up, a neighborhood was built on the low-lying area. Homeowners now are beginning to see the effects of these building decisions, as constant floods produce mold growth and vacancies that has pushed many to the brink of departure.

The mold problem is so rampant in many of the properties that mold testing would only confirm what many homeowners already know. Stagnant water six feet deep and mold damage have become so prevalent that the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) is prepared to tear down some 128 properties in the area using $9 million in state and federal grants.

In previous storms, sewer systems being overwhelmed by water and individuals have needed boats to flee their homes, so many residents are prepared to leave if MSD provides them with enough of a financial incentive to do so. In place of the homes that once stood there, local officials plan to build an area that will collect floodwater.

"This neighborhood was blooming when we moved in," local homeowner Martha Perry told Kentucky newspaper The Courier-Journal. "Now there's naught but one house on this side of the street that has someone living in it. It's just sad. [Selling] would be a lot better than just letting it sit here and get nothing for it."

In general, the cost of an inspection for mold varies based on the the size of the home, but these costs may pale in comparison to that of a mold cleanup. While homeowners may be able to use bleach and other cleaning supplies to eradicate mold, if spores seep into walls or begin to undermine the structural integrity of a home, the homeowner may have no choice but to solicit the help of a certified mold cleanup expert.