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2019-07-06. As Floods Keep Coming, Cities Pay Residents to Move.

posted Jul 6, 2019, 8:13 PM by Alan Gould
By John Schwartz, The New York Times. [https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/06/climate/nashville-floods-buybacks.html] For GSS Climate Change chapter 9. Excerpt: NASHVILLE — Jonna Laidlaw['s]...house...had flooded some 20 times since 2001, from a few inches to six feet. She and her husband would do their repairs with help from their flood insurance, but before long it would flood again. ...When city officials offered to buy the house last year, she and her husband gladly said yes. They have since moved to higher ground. Nashville is trying to move people like the Laidlaws away from flood-prone areas. The voluntary program uses a combination of federal, state and local funds to offer market value for their homes. If the owners accept the offer, they move out, the city razes the house and prohibits future development. The acquired land becomes an absorbent creekside buffer, much of it serving as parks with playgrounds and walking paths. Climate change is increasing the program’s urgency. While a number of cities around the country have similar relocation projects to address increased flooding, disaster mitigation experts consider Nashville’s a model that other communities would be wise to learn from: The United States spends far more on helping people rebuild after disasters than preventing problems. ...David Maurstad, who heads the National Flood Insurance Program, said buyouts were the most permanent way to mitigate against future flood hazards. “Rebuilding out of harm’s way can help avoid future devastation in a way that flood insurance cannot,” he said....