FEMA flood buyouts top $2B since 1993

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has spent more than $2 billion to buy out land in flood-prone areas over a nearly two-decade period.

The buyout program launched after widespread flooding in 1993 now has gobbled up almost 37,000 properties -- tearing down the homes that were there and prohibiting people from rebuilding. In some cases, entire neighbors and small towns have disappeared as a result of the buyouts.

So far, the greatest number of flood buyouts has occurred in Missouri, though the value of bought-out properties has been higher in coastal states such as Texas and North Carolina.

Another round of buyouts may be in the works for communities affected by flooding this year along the Missouri River valley and the lower Mississippi River.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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