Midwest's Flood-Prone Communities Consider Buyouts

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St. Louis (AP) Weeks after massive flooding in the Midwest, at least five states are considering federally-funded buyouts so residents can move to higher ground. The buyouts are being debated in Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois.

Residents in areas that qualify can choose to sell their properties to their city or county, with 75 percent of the costs paid for by FEMA. Some locals say they just can't stomach the thought of another massive flood again.

But FEMA expects more requests for buyouts than it can accommodate. Communities that use the FEMA dollars agree to demolish structures on the properties and not develop the land, except for recreational use such as parks.

FEMA officials say they bought out nearly 12,000 properties in nine states after the devastating 1993 flood.

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