FEMA denies 33 Vt. home buyouts - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

FEMA denies 33 Vt. home buyouts

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency has rejected buyouts for 33 Vermont properties damaged by Tropical Storm Irene and spring flooding last year.

FEMA has approved 81 home buyouts for properties that sustained heavy damage and are vulnerable to future floods. Under the program, FEMA will pay up to 75 percent of a home's value. The homes will be demolished and the land will not be redeveloped.

For those homes that were rejected, state officials say they are dismayed the federal agency continues to use a flood map that does not take into account the state's unique hydrology.

"Unfortunately because those homes who we've applied for homeowner buyout were not in FEMA's map, but are in the state's erosion risk map, we are trying to say, look to our understanding of our science and our understanding of our river dynamics and support the need to buy those homes out because we know they will be in harm's way if they rebuild there," said Sue Minter, Vermont's Irene recovery officer.

The state may appeal in some of the cases and is also looking at alternative funding sources to help those homeowners.

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