Flood Elevation Mitigation Program
The Flood Elevation Mitigation Program is a striking example of the partnership between Federal, State and County government supporting a tremendous investment in the local community.
The Governor's Office of Emergency Services has indicated that savings in potential losses provided by this program are in excess of four times the investment. The Sonoma County Flood Elevation Mitigation Program has demonstrated that structural elevations are an efficient and cost effective method of mitigating against future flood losses and potentially saving lives. To date, the CDC has elevated over two hundred residential structures, more than any other jurisdiction in the Western United States.
How the Program Works
The Flood Elevation Program can provide up to 75% of the cost of raising a flood-prone residential structure above the 100-year flood level. The assistance is provided as a grant and the owner must provide the remaining 25% of the cost prior to the start of construction. Any residential structure in Sonoma County that has experienced flood damage may be eligible for assistance. Commission staff assist property owners in developing plans, obtaining permits, receiving bids from pre-screened contractors and managing the construction process. The CDC makes payments directly to the contractor after the work has been approved by the County building inspection department. The grant funds may be derived from various FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance programs.
Once properties are approved for funding by FEMA, program staff assists owners in obtaining building plans for the project. After plans are approved by the local building department, the elevation projects is put out to bid to a list of Commission-approved contractors.
Construction follows four phases:
- Raising the structure above the flood level by a qualified house lifter.
- Installation of new perimeter concrete foundation, as needed.
- Construction of new supporting walls, lowering structure and reattaching.
- Completion of stairs, landings, finish trim and paint.