- Associated Press - Saturday, June 27, 2015

DUTCHTOWN, Mo. (AP) - After years of flooding in the small southeast Missouri town of Dutchtown, many of the residents are finally getting federal buyout money.

Fewer than 100 people live in Dutchtown, south of Cape Girardeau. Renewed flooding along the Mississippi River is backing up once again into the village, forcing many to evacuate.

The Southeast Missourian (http://bit.ly/1e8oMcn ) reports that the days of living in the flood plain are about over for many Dutchtown residents. The village has received nearly $800,000 in Federal Emergency Management Agency buyout funds. Meanwhile, the Missouri Department of Economic Development approved $209,000 in block grants to help Dutchtown acquire properties damaged in a 2011 flood. The grant also helped Dutchtown reach the 25 percent match required with the federal grant.

“It was a long process,” said Angie Crutsinger, a former Dutchtown Board of Trustees chairwoman who moved away in 2012 but still acts as project coordinator for the buyouts. “I think anytime you write for a federal grant it is, because you have to do everything just right.”

Fifteen homes were offered voluntary federal buyouts, and 11 accepted. Demolition of the buildings is required 90 days after closing.

Dutchtown resident Susan Reed said the latest round of flooding led many of those with buyouts to expedite their departure and leave for good.

“They loaded up as soon as they saw the water coming,” she said. “Most of them are just gone.”

The Mississippi River surpassed 42 feet this week, bringing water up to the brim of many roads around Dutchtown.

Many wonder why people live in a flood zone, but Crutsinger said some residents simply don’t leave because their home wouldn’t sell. Buyouts, she said, solved the problem.

“I think, for the most part, those 11 property owners, I think they are very happy,” Crutsinger said.

Properties obtained through the buyout belong to Dutchtown, but use of the land is limited to uses like parks and green space.

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Information from: Southeast Missourian, http://www.semissourian.com

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