Mitigation Matters: Let the Flood Plain be the Flood Plain

This whole area here will be returned
back to a natural state. Let the floodplain be the floodplain. Let
the water go where it wants to go. The creek will come up, the creek will go
down and every one will go on with their life without having their neighborhood
impacted, because this part of the neighborhood won’t be here anymore.
[Dave Marstaud] So tell me a little bit again about the history of buyouts in in the Des Moines
area. The first buyout in in modern history in
Des Moines was the product of the great Midwestern flood of 1993. And like a lot
of communities saw a lot of rain and a lot of water and the the first round of
buyouts was a hazard mitigation grant program undertaking in the in the
aftermath of the 1993 flood. There were repeats in 1998, in 2008 and 2010. And as
the the the acquisitions picked up steam over the intervening years, we started
bringing in more funding sources to further along the project and accelerate
it. The most recent experience was a flash flood that that did quite a bit of
damage all over the entire city, but particularly hammered this neighborhood
again. And we stepped in with entirely locally funding local funding sources to
accelerate the buyouts even more to be able to step in and acquire that home
while it was still damaged. So it would have required a substantial investment
from the property owner just to be able to move back in for a year or two or
three while waiting for the city to come along with federal resources to be able
to acquire the home through the normal Hazard Mitigation Program funding. And it
made sense to us and to our elected officials to step in now with local
dollars to put together a funding package that would greatly accelerate
the acquisition of homes in this area and elsewhere. According to our state
Hazard Mitigation plan we see buyouts as a priority area. We want to make sure
that we’re moving citizens out of harm’s way so that the next disaster they’re
not impacted again, which is catastrophic for them.

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