290 Landowners in West Virginia Flood Plain Offered Buyouts

July 1, 2009

After years of Dunloup Creek in West Virginia’s Fayette County constantly flooding, officials think they’ve found a solution: abandon the region.

The federal Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Dunloup Creek Watershed Association have devised a plan to offer voluntary buyouts to roughly 290 landowners in Kilsyth, Harvey, Red Star, Glen Jean and parts of Mount Hope.

If everyone accepts the offer, the cost could come to roughly $14 million. Landowners have until Sept. 1 to decide.

The goal is to have the 100-year flood plain free of permanent structures, although it could be used for recreation.

Gary Redden, district conservationist for the service in Beckley, says this is the only project of such magnitude in the country.

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