FEMA Mitigation Best Practices: Buyouts Cancel Complaints   [open pdf - 30KB]

Alternate Title: Buyouts Cancel Complaints Cobb County, Georgia

This document is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Best Practices Portfolio. The Best Practices Portfolio is a collection of true stories about people and communities who have experienced disasters, and what mitigation they used to survive, rebuild, and prepare for disasters. From the document: "Whenever it rained more than two inches, Bill Higgins' phone would ring. 'My basement's flooding again! Can't you do something to help?' Unfortunately, as a water engineer for Cobb County, there wasn't much Higgins could do to help anguished residents of Leasa Court and Cynthia Court, whose homes were built in the floodplains of Little Noon-Day Creek and Sewell Mill Creek respectively. 'All we could do was explain to them that their house was built before 1988, before our current floodplain ordinance,' Higgins said. 'Back then, you could build in the floodplain.' This year, when Hurricane Ivan dumped more than five inches of rain on Cobb County - much of it falling in as little as half an hour - Higgins' phone remained quiet. 'It was a relief not to get called by those folks again,' he said. What made Hurricane Ivan's heavy rain different? 'Last year, we bought out 19 houses on Leasa Court and four houses on Cynthia Court, eliminating residential damage in the most severe of the chronic flooding areas in this part of the county,' Higgins said. Buying out these homes proved to be the most cost-effective solution to Cobb County's continual flooding problems. Two FEMA programs helped make it possible for the County to buy the properties on Leasa Court - the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program and the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). Staff from the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) worked closely with Cobb County on grant application development, review, and in recommending them for FEMA funding." This and other individual FEMA Best Practices documents are also combined in "Mitigation Best Practices: Public and Private Sector Best Practice Stories for All Activity/Project Types in All States and Territories Relating to All Hazards [August 10, 2011]," which can be accessed at the following link: [https://www.hsdl.org/?abstract&did=683132]

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