Click for interactive graphic

Source: ProPublica

 

Very cool graphic from ProPublica showing where government funding is paying for building in flood zones.

 

Category: Digital Media, Real Estate, Taxes and Policy

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

15 Responses to “Rebuilding in Flood Zones”

  1. Expat says:

    Our tax dollars at work:
    Funding houses in flood/storm zones
    Funding cocaine and Maseratis for investment bankers
    Funding mass murder in Afghanistan and Iraq
    Funding kidnapping torture and murder worldwide
    Funding drones and TSA gropers at home and abroad
    Funding Echelon, Carnivore and Total Information Security at the NSA
    Funding assassination of US citizens at home and abroad if they are “combatants”
    Funding tanning cream for Angelo Mozillo instead of putting him in a dark hole
    Funding coal, shale oil, fracking, offshore drilling, humvees, and leaking nukes

    Shall we continue? Frankly, there are worse things to fund than flood or storm prone homes. At least the idiots who choose to live there might eventually be killed and thereby remove their genes from the gene pool. In fact, we should have mandated holiday homes for elected officials all along the Jersey Shore!

  2. RW says:

    This would be rather foolish even in a world without global warming but in a country where science is denied it makes a kind of sense I suppose. Wonder if NY will emulate N. Carolina and pass a law restricting agencies from measuring pesky things like sea level.

  3. Fred C Dobbs says:

    Isn’t rebuilding where one has been washed out, a form of insanity? Why should taxpayers pay and/or subsidize insane persons to rebuild? Even worse, due to climate change and rising sea levels, the next washout must be closer than the last. The Tea Partiers must be behind this.

  4. rd says:

    The whole point of insurance is to spread the costs across a very large group and then have the actuarial process price the insurance so that rational economic decisions can be made.

    Instead, we have a system of private investment with subsidized flood insurance and then a myriad of other publicly funded program, such as the SBA loans on this graphic, to greatly distort the rational economic process. To distort the process even further, the land use decisions are made on a very local level while the bulk of the flood funding comes from the highest level, the federal government, so the local governments have the same incentives as the banks – make as big a bet as possible to get property taxes and jobs in your community while risk is born by others.

    Florida was largely abandoned in the 1930s as hurricane after hurricane came through and pounded homeowners and businesses. However, the federal and state governments have provide numerous incentives to put lots of people and property in harm’s way. The same is occuring in coastal cities and cities along major rivers. The big rebuilding costs are just beginning.

  5. seems some semblance of thought is going into ‘the Issue’..

    “…Meanwhile, public officials and homeowners are trying to look to the future.

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced a plan to buy out the entire Staten Island neighborhood of Oakwood Beach and allow the land to revert back to the marshland it once was, because the homes there have flooded multiple times. It remains unclear if any other neighborhoods might get bought out.

    That may be the best hope for homeowners like Michael Kuhens, who has been trying to sell his bungalow in Staten Island’s Ocean Breeze section, which was ripped off its foundation by the 14-foot storm surge…”
    http://news.ino.com/headlines/?newsid=6865485657177712

    though, We may care to Recall..The State of New York has little, to no, Cash of its Own..These Costs, too, will be spread to those that did not Incur them..
    ~~~

    with this..

    “…Instead, we have a system of private investment with subsidized flood insurance and then a myriad of other publicly funded program, such as the SBA loans on this graphic, to greatly distort the rational economic process. To distort the process even further, the land use decisions are made on a very local level while the bulk of the flood funding comes from the highest level, the federal government, so the local governments have the same incentives as the banks – make as big a bet as possible to get property taxes and jobs in your community while risk is born by others…”

    Nice Point, rd..

  6. Init4good says:

    Fred,
    Yes, it’s insanity, but there are many insane folks who own property very close to ocean, and many insane business owners with businesses there and they have lots of $ and influence, and it will be rebuilt at some loss to taxpayers. Flood insurance costs will rise, along w premiums.

  7. wally says:

    When the big Mississippi floods cause so much damage in the 1990′s to areas that were known traditional flood risks, the government finally cracked down on rebuilding in those areas. The simple first step is to say: no flood insurance on known risk areas.
    However, the difference on the east coast is the huge amount of money involved and its influence on politics – even non-insured areas appeal for, and get, disaster relief funding. I don’t think there is either a secret or mystery about that. These areas will flood again… and again. Eventually they will be abandoned, though that may be 50 or 100 years away. But it will happen.

  8. MidlifeNocrisis says:

    I will second what wally says. I personally worked in/with some folks that were flooded out, starting with the 1993 flood event and several years after. Many acres of marginal agricultural lands were either complete fee title buyouts or retired from agricultural production with conservation easements for wetlands/forest/prairie habitat restoration by the USDA and other Federal/State Agencies. Homesteads and outbuildings were many times bought out by FEMA and demolished. Levee districts and drainage districts were abandoned, along with the associated infrastructure. Levees/dikes were left open, drainage tubes removed, tile drainage broken, drainage ditches either abandoned or outright plugged.

    Yes, this was in rural areas. Very little was done in towns/cities because it was not politically feasable in highly populated areas. There was too much resistance to complete abandonment.

    Pay up once, or continue pooring money down that “sink hole”.

  9. willid3 says:

    the biggest location for weather related damage, isnt oceans side. its in many cities that aren’t any where near and ocean. but near rivers and lakes. the damages in those areas exceed the damage from almost all of the hurricanes that ever hit. and oddly enough even worse than earthquakes. and we never any ones say they should move from those cities. or farms

  10. theexpertisin says:

    Flood insurance. Just call it a tax, mandate it and let other taxpayers fill the till.

    We have precedent……..

  11. Herman Frank says:

    The picture brings tears of rage to my eyes. But then I scroll down the website and see “Investors should ignore politics and economics”, and I nod and think “spot on!”. The reconstruction effort in flood prone areas – with government support – is all about politics and economics. So I just follow your sage advise and ignore.
    Somebody please quote that article of last week to the “responsible adults overseeing the reconstruction effort” that the Canadian glaciers are at an unstoppable pace of decline with the sure effect of raising the sea water level.
    Now, mix a disaster waiting to happen: combine raising water levels with different weather patterns (those glaciers DO have a tempering climate effect) and you are in for some interesting replays of Katrina, Sandy, Irene and Ike. Damage estimates: $ 237bln. All preventable with proper infrastructure and prohibition of foolish construction in flood-zones. “We can just lean back and wait for the call.”

  12. mathman says:

    Well, “flood zones” will most probably include about half of Florida, a lot of NY and all along down the entire East Coast, while some of the Gulf and Western coastal states will also be impacted:

    http://geology.com/sea-level-rise/

  13. DeDude says:

    Any help with rebuilding in a “disaster zone” should come with the explicit demand that the rebuild house must carry private “disaster” insurance for the next 30 years (or government will take a lean on the house to purchase such insurance). Lots of people live in disaster prone areas as most of us are willing to take certain risks. If they want help from the public cleaning up after a disaster, then they need to show that they have learned the lesson. Otherwise you are punishing those who did pay for proper insurance, and are not going to burden the public.

  14. RW says:

    It’s not just rebuilding a residence or a business and flood insurance cannot come close to covering the real costs or rebuilding because the greater expense is typically in the public sphere.

    For example, in the aftermath of one of the periodic mud slides in the coastal foothills of S. California, most residents had insurance and could rebuild if their property was still accessible but the biggest costs were entailed in digging out, repairing and replacing access roads, retaining walls, storm drains and debris basins, sewage and water lines, etc.

    Can’t speak for others but I always wondered why that was an appropriate use of county and state tax monies: Enabling someone to buy property in a region prone to wild fires, flooding and land slides and then, after disaster, restoring that property and all its associated public services so they could rebuild in the same place.

  15. mdjohnson53pa says:

    Half of this matter could best be explained by Former President GWB: “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”