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Petersburg Area Acquisition Returning Area to Natural Contours

CABINS, WV - Rapid snow melts and heavy rains caused this area of West Virginia to suffer flood damages in 1949, 1985, and three times in 1996. Each subsequent event caused damages of increasing measures to residential properties. The September 1996 flood caused a great amount of damage in this area, and one family's home was completely washed away.

The Grant County Commission acquired and demolished two, flood-prone residential structures: a two-story brick residence and a one-story wood frame home, plus the vacant land between them.

After the man-made structures were removed, the vacant land was landscaped to meet the adjacent contours, and seeds and straw were applied to retard erosion. Deed restrictions require that the land remains as open space in perpetuity to block future development in this area of the floodplain. The State Department of Natural Resources is planning to use this area for stream access, which is well within the guidelines for land use in the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) Acquisition Program.

Losses from the November 1996 event totaled $101,000 for these two residences. Additionally, one entire residence was washed away during this event, representing another $50,000. Cost saving from not having to deploy emergency services personnel in the future, while not measured in exact dollars, is significant.

Standard Homeowner's insurance policies do not cover flood damage. The National Flood Insurance Program makes Federally backed flood insurance available to homeowners, renters, and business owners in participating communities.

Last updated June 3, 2020