The reason is probably that better-off local governments have the resources to apply for and administer the programs — and that could keep many of the people who most need buyouts from getting them, according to the study Wednesday in the journal Science Advances.
As climate change increases flood risks, there will be greater need to move people and property out of danger, turning the land to open space, lead researcher
"When it comes to weather and climate events ... we are unambiguously behind the eight-ball," she said, noting that
The study of publicly available
In all, more than 43,600 buildings were bought. Buyout costs weren't part of this study because the data was patchy, Mach said in an email.
If only communities with planners and 25% in matching funds are using
The biggest buyout year by far was 1993 — the year of the Great Midwest Flood — with more than 8,000 properties bought, the study said.
About one-third of all the counties, parishes, boroughs and cities in 49 states and three territories have used buyouts, the study found.
It found that
"There's a huge amount of talk about buyouts and managed retreat ... but the doing is a whole lot harder than the talking," said Mark.
Davis, who wasn't part of the study, said its results aren't surprising but "provide a little more rigor and some context for people trying to figure out what is working, what isn't, and what hasn't even been tried."
The top three states in total property damage are in the middle of the buyout pack.
The top six buyout states —