Imagine investing in a house, improving it, and making it a home only to discover it is worth nothing. In twelve years, flooding wiped out nearly an estimated $16 billion in value. Many locals are fleeing their beloved towns, sometimes selling to a new owner and sometimes walking away with nothing. But the story gets more complicated: people are still buying waterfront properties. They trust building codes and are willing to risk it all to get that view.
Ankle-deep in the overflow of the river that drew her here two decades ago, Calinda Crowe looked across her land, envisioning the future. She didn’t like what she saw.
“You wake up to this,” she said, gesturing toward the water submerging everything but the concrete foundation of her raised home. “It upsets you, you know, because it's supposed to be ‘dream home’ type stuff. Not with this.” A turtle floated to the surface near the bulkhead dividing her yard from the bayou.
Crowe bought her home near Mississippi’s Pearl River 17 years ago because of its proximity to the wilderness and its stunning views. With no buildings bordering her to the north, the wetlands and the river feel like extensions of her property.