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Lake Travis flooding victims need permits to repair

Lake Travis has now dropped enough that homes on Graveyard Point can dry out. It's the lowest point on the lake and gets some of the worst damage. But even though some homeowners may be ready to rebuild, repairs are temporarily on hold. (Photo:Bettie Cross)

For the first time in more than 2 weeks only three floodgates are open at Mansfield Dam on Lake Travis. The LCRA closed the first of four on Thursday. The rest will go down one at a time with the hope that all will be closed by next Wednesday.

Lake Travis has now dropped enough that homes on Graveyard Point can dry out. It's the lowest point on the lake and gets some of the worst damage. But even though some homeowners may be ready to rebuild, repairs are temporarily on hold.

“So, the water came up. Everything was in the house and it got destroyed,” said Steven Percivill.

Percivill and his family say the flood waters rose almost to the ceiling of the first floor.

“We thought we were expecting a few inches and we got a few feet,” said Percivill.

Their washer, dryer and refrigerator are at the curb with the trash. Some clothes have already dried out and as soon as the house does the Percivills plan to rebuild.

"We're tearing it all out and tearing it all down. Tearing it down to the timbers and we're going to rebuild it,” said Percivill.

But not before about 400 Lake Travis homeowners read the notices that were attached to their flooded homes and file the required permits with Travis County.

"We must permit the repairs," said Stacey Scheffel, Travis County's Flood Plain Administrator.

Scheffel says to qualify for federally subsidized flood insurance homeowners must play by the rules.

"We have rules for new development and redevelopment where we try to permit them and make them reasonably safe from flooding," Scheffel.

That means if damage totals more than half of a home's pre-flood value, all living areas must be built higher than they are now. If the damage is less than 50 percent of the pre-flood value homeowners can rebuild at the current elevation.

At this point the Percivills don’t know if they'll have to rebuild higher, but the family does plan to rebuild smarter.

"I think we'll be back in it in a year, six months maybe," said Percivill.

Before doing any repairs, Travis County flooding victims should contact Travis County Permits at 512-854-4215 or Travis_Countypermits@traviscountytx.gov.

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