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End of saga near for Horton Ave. homes

Homes are partially underwater along Horton Avenue in

Homes are partially underwater along Horton Avenue in Riverhead days after a major storm flooded the neighborhood. (March 31, 2010) Credit: James Carbone

Many of the people who owned homes on the southern end of Horton Avenue in Riverhead — houses that were devastated by floods in March 2010 — have moved on, picking up their lives in different locations or moving in with friends and family elsewhere while their claims for reimbursement were being settled.

On Tuesday night, the Riverhead Town Board wrote what could be the beginning of the last chapter in their saga, voting to spend up to $10,000 on each of seven parcels to cover costs such as appraisals that will lead to those properties being sold to the town and demolished.

The federal government will pay 75 percent of the sale price, while state and local governments will make up the rest. Riverhead’s share will be 12.5 percent.

Each parcel has a different sale price, ranging from $63,000 to $310,000, depending on the value of the house and the land it stood on before the flooding when 9 inches of rain fell in just a few days, town officials said.

Some Horton Avenue families have moved elsewhere, others are working with the Long Island Housing Partnership to have new homes built.

The Horton Avenue houses, at the bottom of a long hill, will be removed and the land will become part of a large drainage area to hold rainwater, some of which comes from farms on higher ground a mile or more away.

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