Oakland, Calif. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has granted $2.9 million to elevate 16 Marin County homes that have repeatedly flooded. Each home will be raised at least one-foot above the identified high-risk flood elevation shown on FEMA flood maps.
Floods in Marin County are well-documented. And many homes in flood zones have been damaged by relatively minor five- and ten-year flood events. Nine separate winter storms in the past 50 years have caused significant damage in Marin County, including the last major flood in 2006, which damaged or destroyed more than 1,000 homes, apartments, and businesses, totaling nearly $95 million in losses.
Flooding is the costliest and most frequent natural disaster in America. An inch of water can cause $25,000 in home damage. But people can elevate their homes to reduce risk. Elevating a home involves separating the utilities and structural connections, carefully lifting the home using hydraulic jacks, then returning it to an elevated new or rebuilt foundation. Floodwaters can then freely flow beneath the elevated structure.
The $3.9 million project will be funded by a $2.9 million hazard mitigation grant from FEMA, and homeowners will cover the remaining costs.
FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program helps states, territories, federally-recognized tribes, local communities and certain private, non-profit organizations become more resilient to potential infrastructure damage and reduce future disaster costs. In the past 30 years, FEMA has invested nearly $1.3 billion to reduce disaster risks in California.