ATLANTA, Ga. -- The initial phase of a project to acquire or elevate flood-prone structures in the City of Pascagoula on Mississippi's storm-raked Gulf Coast has received grants totaling $537,468.
The city will acquire structures that have been damaged repeatedly by rising waters, especially in flooding that followed landfall by Hurricane Georges in late 1998.
"This action will limit the seemingly unending drain on public tax dollars because it is cost-effective," said John B. Copenhaver, regional director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "Paying again and again for the same mistakes doesn't make good economic sense," he added.
Properties to be acquired or elevated above base flood levels have been prioritized by the city, said Robert R. Latham, Jr., director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
Residences to be purchased and razed are located on Chickasaw and Canty Streets, and on Sherwood Avenue, Latham said. Structures to be elevated are on Chickasaw and 11th Streets, he added.
FEMA will pay 75 percent of the total, with local sources accounting for the remaining portion of costs.
Latham said a second phase is being planned for the Chipley neighborhood of Pascagoula.