SALEM - The Brazil family has lived in their flood-plagued Spencer Avenue home for 17 years. They've had enough.
When heavy rain hit the region last weekend, their front yard filled with water. It was the sixth time their home has had significant flooding since they moved in.
Earlier this week, selectmen moved to finalize a $1.9 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the purchase of nine homes on Haigh Avenue, a neighboring street to Spencer Avenue. But the Brazils' home wasn't part of that package.
"We can't understand why we weren't a part of that," said Laurianne Brazil, who lives at the home with her husband, Thomas, and their children, Hillary, 16, and Dylan, 12.
Located along the Spicket River, the Haigh Avenue neighborhood is known to be one of the first places in town to flood during heavy rain. The Brazils are now used to the routine. They cover basement windows with plywood, stack sandbags in front of the house, and clean out their garage to prepare for the flood.
"The first time it flooded, we didn't know," Brazil said. "That time we ended up with about 4 feet of water in the basement."
Selectman Everett McBride said the town plans to apply for a second round of FEMA funding to purchase homes in the neighborhood. Residents will be contacted in the near future to gauge interest, he said.
"They would have to agree to do it," McBride said. "All we can do is offer them the assessed valuation."
It took about two years for the first round of grants to be finalized, McBride said. The Brazils hope it doesn't take that long the second time around; the town is planning to reassess homes in 2011.
"We realize the value of this home is only going to depreciate," Brazil said. "With the flooding, who would buy it?"
In addition to their home, the Brazils also get flooded at work. They own TNT Towing, which also is on the Spicket River.
"We get hit double," Brazil said.
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