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As climate change worsens, areas that were once safe become unlivable. Repetitive flooding, wildfires and other hazards are prompting some Americans to move. Millions more are expected to follow suit in the coming decades — if they can get out.
Public Integrity stories
The latest stories from Public Integrity in the Harm’s Way series can be found on our site.
An investigation by Columbia Journalism Investigations, the Center for Public Integrity and Type Investigations found that the federal government is not prepared for climate relocation needs now, let alone those to come.
Newsrooms around the country joined forces to report on the issue in their own communities.
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As Wildfires Grow, So Does California’s Housing and Homelessness Crisis. Here Are Some Solutions
Researchers and disaster-victim advocates say there isn’t enough government aid to help the most vulnerable wildfire survivors find stable housing. There’s also too little housing to accommodate California’s swelling population of wildfire refugees. Solutions, experts said, must tackle both of these problems. (From California Health Report)
Hawaii Is The Only State Not Seeking Federal Buyouts To Move Residents Away From Floods
Out of 50 states, Hawaii is the lone one not to have participated in FEMA’s flood buyouts, despite rising need. The state pushes responsibility to people at the local level. (From Honolulu Civil Beat)
Displaced WA Flood Survivors ‘In Limbo’ While Awaiting Federal Aid
People devastated by major disasters in America are often left waiting for help that may never come. A 2021 flood in Washington state illustrates the problem: “We were left alone!” survivor Maryann Snudden says. “We were left alone to fend for ourselves, and in places that we couldn’t even live in.” (From InvestigateWest)
WA’s Nooksack River Has Been Sounding The Alarm, And People Are Finally Listening
After two disasters linked to the Nooksack River last year, Whatcom County in Washington state has found new energy and purpose in planning to adapt in a changing climate that brings more and more uncertainty. (From InvestigateWest)
Climate Change Impact on Mississippi: What We Can Expect?
Mississippi has 75,000 people living in regions at risk of coastal flooding. An additional 13,000 more could be at risk by 2050 because of the rising sea level, and that doesn’t include residents living inland who’ve already withstood repeated devastating flooding. (From the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting)
Some Mississippi counties ravaged by flooding shut out of federal disaster dollars for buyouts
Of Mississippi’s 82 counties, property owners in 18 have received buyouts for flooding over the last three decades. FEMA buyouts were not designed with climate change in mind. (From the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting)
Equity debate over millions for flood mitigation in the south Delta
Three years after his home flooded in the historic south Delta flooding of 2019, Anderson Jones Sr. has still not been able to return to his home, which is gutted and infested with mold. The promised federal assistance never came. (From the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting)
Federal funding for natural disasters fails Kentucky counties that need it most
Communities directly impacted by Kentucky’s recent disasters received less federal money to prepare for such hazards than Kentucky counties spared from the storms, the result of a process based more on competition than need. (From the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting)
10 Years After Sandy, New York Considers New Funding for Voluntary Relocation
New potential funding mechanisms may provide an opportunity for homeowners in areas of high flood risk to sell their at-risk properties to the state or city. (From City Limits)
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