Agree to use eminent domain to force people out of flood-prone homes, or forfeit a shot at federal money they need to combat climate change.
That choice, part of an effort by the Army Corps of Engineers to protect people from disasters, is facing officials from the Florida Keys to the New Jersey coast, including Miami, Charleston, S.C., and Selma, Ala. Local governments seeking federal money to help people leave flood zones must first commit to push out people who refuse to move.
…The Corps’ mission includes protecting Americans from flooding and coastal storms. It does that in different ways, including building sea walls, levees and other protections, and elevating homes. The Corps generally pays two-thirds of the cost, which can stretch into billions of dollars. The local government usually pays the rest.
As that risk grows because of climate change, the Corps has shifted toward paying local governments to buy and demolish homes at risk of flooding. The logic is that the only surefire way to guarantee the homes won’t flood again is if they no longer exist. But it also uproots people and can destroy communities.
As a result, federally funded buyouts have usually been voluntary; residents could decline. But at the end of 2015, the Corps said that voluntary programs were “not acceptable” and that all future buyout programs “must include the option to use eminent domain, where warranted.”
What tha faaaah??! Aggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!