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Superstorm Sandy renews rebuild-vs-retreat debate in chronically storm-damages areas

Should I stay or should I go? That's the question some people are asking in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

The storm 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, vows to rebuild — only 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 depopulations 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.

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