OAKLAND, Calif. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has granted $1.2 million to Sonoma County to protect six homes from Russian River floodwaters.
Flooding can be an emotionally and financially devastating event. It can destroy a home’s flooring, sheetrock, insulation, and electrical and mechanical components, necessitating extensive reconstruction. And floods are the most common natural hazard in Sonoma County, resulting in the most federally-declared disasters and property loss to the area. Over the past 25 years, the county experienced 14 winter storm and flood events.
Elevation of at-risk homes is the most efficient and cost-effective way to prevent flood damage. Completion of this project will significantly reduce the risk of damage by elevating a home’s living space by placing it on water-resistant posts and piers to protect the foundation’s integrity from fast-flowing flood water and eliminate the risk of structural fragments breaking away and damaging buildings downstream. Owners of elevated homes avoid post-flood clean-up, restoration costs and qualify for significantly lower flood insurance rates.
The $1.5 million project includes a $1.2 million grant from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), with the remaining $390,000 from non-federal sources.
FEMA’s HMGP 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 31 years, FEMA has invested nearly $1.4 billion to reduce disaster risk in California.