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NY Submits More Than 400 Home Buyout Applications to FEMA

More than a year after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, New York State has forwarded more than 400 applications for property buy-outs to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  And state officials say there are more pending.

The federal flood buy-out program is designed for homeowners that experience damage so  substantial that it is more cost effective to remove the building.  Once purchased, the remnants of the homes are destroyed and the property must revert to open space. Those approved for the program get a partial reimbursement for their losses. New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner Rachel McEneny.

The applications sent to FEMA are mostly from the Southern Tier counties that experienced the worst flooding in the state during Tropical Storm Lee.  In the Broome County town of Vestal, Supervisor John Schaffer says anyone who lived along the river was severely affected.

For those who are trying to receive a buy-out, Schaffer says it’s been a very drawn out process.

Some homeowners in the Adirondack town of Keene are also attempting to get federal buyouts of their property.  Town Supervisor Bill Ferebee says it’s been an  extremely frustrating process.
Once a buy-out is completed, the land reverts to town possession and no permanent structures can ever again be built on the property.
FEMA referred calls to the New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, saying that the state “runs the program”.