Vermont towns making plans for land bought after Irene

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COLCHESTER (AP) -- A number of Vermont towns that bought properties made unusable by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene are now trying to decide what to do with that land that will be cleared of structures damaged by the 2011 storm.

So far 30 properties have been purchased by cities and towns and another 67 buyouts are in the pipeline.

Readsboro Town Administrator Mark Shea said one idea for areas along the Deerfield River where three homes were bought out include building a bench next to a display of photographs of the houses and the families who lived there as well as a plaque about the town's response.

"Let's not forget that the community stood together," he said.

The hazard mitigation program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency pays a portion of the pre-flood value of structures in areas likely to be hit again by future flooding. The structures are then torn down so they can't be damaged again.

Londonderry Resident George Mora said it may be possible to engineer the land to create a kind of catch basin for floodwaters.

"It has the potential to give anyone in town a sense of power in the face of destruction, to think that there may be something we can actually do to combat it," he said.


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