The federal government is giving local officials nationwide an ultimatum: Either use eminent domain to force people out of flood-prone homes, or forfeit the chance for federal money to combat climate change.
This move is an effort by the Army Corps of Engineers to protect people from disasters. Officials from the Florida Keys to the New Jersey coast, including Miami, Charleston, S.C., and Selma, Ala., are facing this choice.
Local governments seeking federal money to help people leave flood zones must first agree to oust people who refuse to move. Some local governments have told the Corps they will do so if necessary, while others have yet to decide.
The Corps protects Americans from flooding and coastal storms by building sea walls, levees and other protective structures, and by elevating homes. The Corps typically pays two-thirds of the cost, with local government paying the rest.