- Associated Press - Friday, June 27, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Austin officials have authorized spending more than $30 million to buy about 140 homes in a neighborhood savaged last year by severe flooding.

The city council voted unanimously Thursday to OK the buyouts along Onion Creek. It will spend another $12 million to hire an engineering firm to conduct appraisals and perform other work.

Revenue from a utility drainage fee will cover the cost of the buyouts.

Officials want to remove residents and structures from an area prone to flooding. Storms last fall brought flooding along Onion Creek and other parts of Central Texas and were responsible for six deaths.

Many homes near the creek were built before government maps began outlining flood plains.

The Austin American-Statesman reports the city has bought more than 400 homes near the creek since 1998.

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