After dealing with the disaster left behind by the floods of 2010, several Cranston residents have decided to move. The government has agreed to purchase the flood prone properties and the homes on them will be demolished.
All of the houses at the end of Perkins Avenue in Cranston will soon be demolished.
The water was six feet high near the Pawtuxet River bank, and all around the homes during two storms that brought historic amounts of rain in 2010.
So, to prevent future problems, the federal government will spend $1.2 million to buy six of the flood-prone houses, knock them down and help the residents to relocate.
The buyout and subsequent move is a bittersweet move for some Perkins Avenue families.
While standing on his front porch Cory Dupont looked around at the neighborhood around him.
"It's a great thing. It's one of those mixed blessings. It's terrible to have to go through something like that (the flood), but at the same time, there's a light at the end of the tunnel," Dupont said.
Dupont's family home of more than 40 years has been purchased by the city, and will soon be demolished.
"And then they just started going like dominoes. Ironically that house over there was one of the first ones built, and now it will be one of the first to be knocked down," he said.
All of the homes at the end of Perkins Avenue are now boarded up.
"It's kind of weird 'cause it's kind of like a ghost town now," Dupont said.
Cranston Mayor Allan Fung says the demolition of the first house on Wednesday at 1 p.m. will mark the "final chapter in a long book."
"We're at the stage now where the city has bought six of those homes, and we're starting the process whereby we're going to be demolishing the homes. We purchased the homes from the homeowners, it was a totally voluntary process, and those residents are getting out of the homes now," Fung said.
When asked if he thought the project was a positive, Dupont said, "It is good to get out. I mean, for myself particularly, with a young family it's tough to look at the prospect of having to stay here for maybe another year or two because you just don't know what can happen, flood wise, of course.
"But yeah, it's bittersweet for us, and I think particularly for my Dad it's going to be tough to have to see it knocked down and a lot of the memories gone with it," he said.
Fung says the project has taken a lot of time and hard work, but that it's worth it for the good of public safety in Cranston.
"It's helping both those residents to avoid any type of future situation, but also its saving the city from worrying about at least those six homes and the homeowners during any type of other flooding that might occur," he said.
Fung said U.S. Sens. Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse played an instrumental role in securing the $1.2 million in federal funding for the project. Both lawmakers are expected to attend the demolition.
U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin also helped the city of Cranston secure the money to help the residents leave their flood-prone houses.
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