Indiana county seeks FEMA aid for flood buyout program

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana county is seeking federal aid to buyout about 23 flood-prone properties that were damaged by historic flooding two years ago.

St. Joseph County Commissioners decided Tuesday to request Federal Emergency Management Agency funding for a “voluntary floodplain buyout program.”

The South Bend Tribune reports the commissioners sent a letter to the state’s homeland security department designating 23 properties in a neighborhood south of South Bend as the preliminary “buyout area.” The properties are located in a low-elevated area vulnerable to flooding.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security would run the buyout program, and the county would use the federal grant money to buy and demolish flood-damaged homes.

The county plans to assess property flood damage in the coming months. It will need to file its grant application by August.