Towns reject FEMA flood buyouts, despite benefits

By JIM SALTER – The Associated Press


Experts say one of the most cost-effective ways of limiting damage in flood-prone areas may be to simply move residents to drier land.

The federal government has spent about $1.5 billion since 1993 to help buy 40,000 flood-prone properties, a majority of them in the Upper Midwest. It works with state and local governments, who tear the homes down and replace them with green space, parks or wildlife refuges. The initial cost saves money down the road on sandbagging, emergency shelters, rescues and cleanup.

But some homeowners say they don’t want to move and prefer to take their chances, rebuilding as needed. In other areas, officials aren’t interested in managing the teardowns and open space or haven’t been able to find a place for residents to move.
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