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Owners of Irene-damaged properties in Greene County apply for federal buyout

Hurricane Irene Approaches the Outer Banks
Courtesy NOAA
Hurricane Irene Approaches the Outer Banks

A federal buyout program will take 40 Greene County properties and turn them into permanent "open space" - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

The owners of 40 parcels of land that incurred irreparable damages as a result of Tropical Storm Irene have applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a federal buyout

Assemblyman Pete Lopez explains the buyout plan falls under FEMA's Flood Mitigation Program

Under the buyout plan, property damage totaling at least 50 percent of the land?s value makes the parcel eligible to be bought out through FEMA

Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden says of the 40 property-owners who applied, 29 parcels lie within the New York City watershed.

Groden points out that real estate appraisals will be made on each of the properties to be bought out. The county will bear the cost for clean-up and be reimbursed upon completion of sale.

Groden says the county has spent in excess of 10 Million Dollars on storm damage

Assemblyman Lopez is turning his attention to long-term housing issues to help flood-devastated counties rebound

When Irene tore through New York in August 2011, it dropped  13-point-3 inches of rain on Greene County and the resulting disaster was described as "five-hundred-year-flood" conditions.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.