Lake County, Illinois is in the process of purchasing 23 properties that are repeatedly flooding
Lake County Stormwater Management Commission is planning to demolish homes on 23 properties in the coming months and return the properties to open land.
This project will give flood waters a place to settle naturally without damaging homes, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Last month, the commission acquired five properties, including one home in Gurnee, three in Highland Park and a fifth in Riverwoods. Another three were purchased last week, all of which are currently flooded.
All of the purchases are funded through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ flood mitigation program, according to a county spokeswoman.
Four are in part being funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation Grant Program.
There is more annual rainfall predicted in Lake County and more flood events coming with it, reported the Chicago Tribune. The Lake County Board also approved an extra $1.6 million for the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission last fall to fund its voluntary floodplain buyout program.
According to the storm water management commission, which protects the county from flooding and flood damages, its buyout program is a cost-effective flood reduction measure. The Voluntary Floodplain Buyout Program has purchased more than 200 homes to date, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“The rain isn’t going away so we need to find ways to manage this issue into the future in a sustainable way,” said SMC Chairman and District 19 Lake County Board Member Craig Taylor in a statement. “Mitigation of flood problems will help residents, businesses, tourism and the Lake County economy due to the increased use of our lakes and waterways.”