Jacksonville Moves Ahead With Plan To Buy Out Flood-Prone South Shores Homes

May 15, 2019

The city of Jacksonville is moving ahead with a plan to spend $4.5 million to buy and demolish 17 houses in the South Shores neighborhood on the Southbank between St. Nicholas and San Marco.

The buyout was first reported by WJCT News partner the Florida Times-Union: "A $4.5 million plan to buy and demolish 17 flood-prone houses in a low-lying part of Jacksonville’s South Shores neighborhood won approval Monday from the mayor’s budget review committee. The federal government would put up 75 percent of the money and the city would foot the bill for the rest in the program, which gives owners the option of selling the houses or keeping them."

The homes were inundated after Hurricane Irma two years ago and they are located in a 100 year floodplain.

Increasingly, cities with homes and businesses along rivers and coastlines are being forced to confront managed retreat plans as a result of flooding driven by more severe weather and rising waters.

“We’re already experiencing the impacts of climate change, of rising waters. And this is a great example of how we need to respond to these impacts,” said St. Johns Riverkeeper Advocacy Director Shannon Blankenship on Wednesday.

This is a flood layer zone from JaxGIS.com that shows Jacksonville's South Shores neighborhood is vulnerable to flooding.
Credit ModernCities.com

The Riverkeeper will be screening the climate change documentary film The Human Element on Wednesday, May 29, at 6:30 p.m. at Sun-Ray Cinema in Five Points. The screening will also include a panel discussion.

Listen to the full interview with Blankenship on Tuesday’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross.

Related: Read more about the South Shores neighborhood at ModernCities.com

Melissa Ross can be reached at mross@wjct.org, 904-358-6382 or on Twitter at @MelissainJax.