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MMSD to destroy south side homes to help prevent floods

MMSD to destroy south side homes to help prevent floods

By Nick Montes. CREATED Feb 7, 2012 - UPDATED: Feb 7, 2012

MILWAUKEE - A south side Milwaukee neighborhood could soon look very different after MMSD demolishes several vacant homes.

The demolition has been set up as part of a project to prevent future flooding.

Luis Ramirez lives several feet away from the Kinnickinnic River.  He's upset about how officials are going about a proposal to demolish his home and others' homes on the block.

"I need to leave. I don't want to leave because that's my dream - my house," said Ramirez.

He's been in his house for six years, but he's being forced out due to the Kinnickinnic River project.

MMSD has been working on it for a few years.

The organization says the project will help save lives and homes.

"The area has repeated flooded and will continue to flood, and we'll see a slow deterioration of the neighborhood if nothing is done," said David Fowler of the MMSD.

The last big flood happened in 2008.

So far, MMSD demolished 24 homes to alleviate flooding.

Nine more homes have been included in the demolition proposal, including Ramirez's home.

He is afraid MMSD won't give him enough time and money to buy a new home, due to the collapse of the housing market since he purchased his home six years ago.

"I can't sleep very well, thinking and thinking what's going on, what's going to happen in the future."

MMSD says they used the fair market value to pay homeowners for their properties.

"We strive to make them whole. So we'll assist them with a relocation plan that must be approved by the State of Wisconsin," said Fowler.

Ramirez still wonders where his family is going to go.

"I hope in six months, this nightmare is over, because that's a nightmare," explained Ramirez.

He says he will need to leave his home by summer.