SEA BRIGHT, N.J. (January 21, 2013)—Superstorm Sandy has renewed a debate on whether damaged areas should be restored to the way they were, or whether it's cheaper in the long run to buy out property in flood-prone areas and let nature reclaim the land.
Hard-hit Sea Bright N.J., where three-quarters of the residents remain homeless, vowed to rebuild, but higher this time.
But homeowners in the Oakwood Beach section of New York's Staten Island want the government to buy them out.
Several states have tried small-scale buyouts after past floods, but large-scale de-populations are easier said than done. New Orleans considered backing away from some low-lying areas after Hurricane Katrina, but a public outcry halted that plan.