Texas county to spend $20M to buy out Harvey-flooded homes

County officials in the Houston area have decided to spend $20 million to purchase more than 200 homes flooded during Hurricane Harvey.

The Houston Chronicle reports that the Harris County Commissioners Court voted Tuesday to use the funds to speed up the buyout process. The county typically waits months to receive funds from federal grants.

The plan involves purchasing homes in floodplains in unincorporated areas that were heavily damaged in the storm.

Officials aim to complete some home purchases by the end of October. If homeowners in the targeted areas refuse to sell, county regulations require they raise their homes more than a foot above the base flood level.

County officials say they hope to be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or another federal or state agency.