Biloxi Council Hears Federal Buyout Plans - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi Council Hears Federal Buyout Plans

The basic idea is to help buffer Biloxi from future storms. One ingredient of the federal plan is to purchase property that's most vulnerable.

"These are areas that are low lying. They repeatedly flood. They've been damaged by successive hurricanes. So, we are suggesting that over a period of time, a completely voluntary buyout program be put in place," Dr. William Walker told the Biloxi City Council at a Tuesday morning workshop.

That's the key word: voluntary. The federal government has no plans to seize anyone's land.

"Everybody in Eagle Point has been in a panic, thinking we were going to take their property. So, I just wanted to clarify that," said councilman David Fayard.

"That is of absolutely no interest to us. This is an absolutely voluntary, long term program," said Dr. Walker.

The Army Corps coastal improvement plan is based on storm history and probability. Though Katrina was bad enough, a future storm could be even more devastating.

"We also have not seen the strongest storm that can come into the northern Gulf of Mexico. You haven't seen on that's made a direct hit here," said Dr. Susan Reese with the Army Corps of Engineers.

The flood prone Point in Biloxi may be eligible for the buyout proposal. But home owners shouldn't expect to get rich. The feds will pay only appraised value.

"We would be able to offer the appraised value of the land as well as, plus what it would cost to build back the house they used to have, in today's market," said Dr. Walker.

The long range plan could take up to 25 years to implement and could cost in excess of ten billion dollars.

Along with the property buyouts, the plan includes some other more dramatic ideas. Those include building a linear levee along the railroad right of way and installing a special surge gate at the mouth of Biloxi Bay.

The plan won't be finalized until late this year. It will be presented to Congress sometime early next year.

By Steve Phillips 

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Main Alberto impacts expected to stay east of South MS

    Main Alberto impacts expected to stay east of South MS

    Sunday, May 27 2018 9:22 AM EDT2018-05-27 13:22:31 GMT
    Alberto official forecast track from the National Hurricane Center as of 4 AM 5-27-18Alberto official forecast track from the National Hurricane Center as of 4 AM 5-27-18

    Tropical Storm Watches remain in effect for Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties in South Mississippi. This means tropical storm force winds of 39 mph or greater are possible within 48 hours. 

    More >>

    Tropical Storm Watches remain in effect for Hancock, Harrison and Jackson counties in South Mississippi. This means tropical storm force winds of 39 mph or greater are possible within 48 hours. 

    More >>
  • Moss Point Police searching for 'armed & dangerous' man

    Moss Point Police searching for 'armed & dangerous' man

    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:53 PM EDT2018-05-27 02:53:04 GMT
    Moss Point Police are warning Devarian Raheem Edwards should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. (Photo source: WLOX)Moss Point Police are warning Devarian Raheem Edwards should be considered armed and extremely dangerous. (Photo source: WLOX)

    A man police believe was involved in a multi-state crime spree that started with an auto theft and ended with capital murder is still on the run. And they're warning Devarian Raheem Edwards should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

    More >>

    A man police believe was involved in a multi-state crime spree that started with an auto theft and ended with capital murder is still on the run. And they're warning Devarian Raheem Edwards should be considered armed and extremely dangerous.

    More >>
  • Prep or play? Boaters have to choose as Alberto moves closer

    Prep or play? Boaters have to choose as Alberto moves closer

    Saturday, May 26 2018 10:45 PM EDT2018-05-27 02:45:48 GMT
    Some boats have left the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor, others are preparing to ride out the storm if if comes this way. (Photo source: WLOX)Some boats have left the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor, others are preparing to ride out the storm if if comes this way. (Photo source: WLOX)
    Some boats have left the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor, others are preparing to ride out the storm if if comes this way.Some boats have left the Gulfport Small Craft Harbor, others are preparing to ride out the storm if if comes this way.

    Alberto is on its way. But the calm before the storm has given boat owners and people time to both prepare and enjoy some recreational time before the Memorial Day weekend gets cut short.

    More >>

    Alberto is on its way. But the calm before the storm has given boat owners and people time to both prepare and enjoy some recreational time before the Memorial Day weekend gets cut short.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly