Town Built for Victims of '93 Flood Fails to Attract Interested Homeowners

Associated Press

A brochure promoting the new community of Grafton Hills boasts of its woodland setting; new streets, sewers and water system; and planned 27-hole golf course.

Just one problem: The southwestern Illinois town is missing what it was set up for--homeowners washed out in the Great Flood of 1993.

Since most of nearby Grafton was inundated by the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, the federal government has spent $15 million buying flood-ravaged homes and helping pay for a new town on the river bluffs.

But when Grafton held a lottery last month to lure its former residents to Grafton Hills, only 11 of 169 residential lots were sold.

And none of the buyers were flooded-out homeowners.

Some Grafton residents say the project took too long. Others say Grafton Hills is too expensive.

All say the new town is a far cry from life in pre-flood Grafton, a blue-collar town with draft-beer bars, fried-fish restaurants and an antique row for tourists.

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