September 17, 2021

FEMA Flood Buyout Through Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program

“Claudia Boyce discusses the changes, loss, and growth that has occurred since the flood of 1993. After its disaster, the Federal Management Agency ( FEMA ) put together an effort to relocate over 400 families to higher grounds outside of the town. The effort has cost over $2 billion dollars and many believe it is responsible for bringing an end to more than 3,000 communities. Coming from what is known as the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Competitive Grant Program, the money has continued to cost taxpayer dollars. A fear of future floods on the horizon hits a sour spot as she considers the millions of dollars it will cost Americans to secure another round of property buyouts. Whether to rebuild or relocate remains a hot-button issue, but professionals are beginning to question the risks and costs of moving entire towns.

The original floods in 1993 cost 32 lives and over $15 billion dollars, but since then the relocation grant has continued to draw money and buy properties. Though there are many who believe this is actually money well spent, others don’t see the silver lining when they look at the huge sums that Missouri has continued to pull from their wallets. You can argue whether or not this was the right choice, but that still will not change what has happened. What the people of FEMA must do now is decide whether or not they will continue to run the flood buyout program if another disaster strikes. Should the PDM-C simply draw more millions from the dedicated taxpayers, or should they find another solution that will keep the communities together, while not having such a high dollar amount?

This issue arises because flood waters are looking more and more likely within the near future. The Mississippi river has reached record crest levels all the way down to the coast. As a result, the government was forced to open several spillways that brought forth torrential water atop several homes in the area. A continually spiraling weather pattern shows more heavy loads of rain and snow bringing floods over from the West. Executive director states that FEMA will most likely only pursue another round of buyouts if an entire town or neighborhood is available, rather than splitting the occupants across the area once again. Whether or not they have learned from their mistakes, we will soon find out.”

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Associated Press

Discussing Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant

Missouri Leads FEMA Buyout With Record Costs

History and Description of FEMA

Lives Saved by the FEMA Missouri Buyout

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