The Army Corps of Engineers has plans to buyout more than half of the land in the flood-damaged Gulf Coast city of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. But residents who have already started to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina are fighting the plan.
"This coastal resort town is on the front line of a project to gauge support for a mass federal buyout of 17,000 homes near Mississippi's Katrina-ravaged shore. This could become the nation's most significant attempt to radically reconfigure coastal communities -- converting huge swaths of flood-prone residential lots to public wetlands."
"Until now, the Army Corps of Engineers has reserved buyouts for areas prone to river flooding."
"The costs and risks of future flooding are simply too great, they say -- especially if, as many believe, sea levels are rising and hurricanes are starting to get stronger."
"The plan, which officials stress would be voluntary, has shocked many in Bay St. Louis, which is struggling to rebuild after Katrina. Residents say they had no idea that while they were taking out loans and investing their savings to rebuild their homes, federal officials were drawing up proposals to erase more than half of the city's land mass."