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Sonoma County Flood Elevation Mitigation Program

Background and Funding

In response to the winter storms of January and March 1995 that inundated parts of Sonoma County, most notably the lower Russian River area, the Board of Supervisors approved the Sonoma County Flood Mitigation Plan. The Board then authorized the submission of the Flood Mitigation Program Application-1995 to the State of California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. In January of 1997 major flooding occurred again and in February of 1997 the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) obligated the first of 3 Hazard Mitigation Grants (HMGP). In August of 1997 two additional grants were awarded for a total of $9,353,250 in support of 238 structural elevations. The FEMA grants are used in conjunction with a 25% local match.

The County of Sonoma has supported the program with an additional $729,997 in local and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) funding. In addition the program received a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Disaster Recovery Initiative grant in the amount of $547,804 to assist low-income households

This is an aerial image of the town of Guerneville, California and the Russian River during the flooding in 1995.
Guerneville, California

This is an aerial image of the town of Guerneville, California and the Russian River during the flooding in 1995.
Guerneville, California

Click on the links below to learn more about the details of the Sonoma County Flood Elevation Mitigation Program:

Frequently Asked Question About the Flood Elevation Mitigation Program

Grant Program

Flood Elevation Process

Program DesignPDF Icon

Related sites:

California Department of Water Resources, Division of Flood Management

NOAA, National Weather Service Web Site

Summary

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. By using local contractors who employ local labor and purchase materials and supplies locally, the program directly channels federal dollars to assist a community repeatedly devastated by seasonal flooding.

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.

If you are interested in additional information regarding the Sonoma County Flood Elevation Mitigation Program contact:

Sonoma County Flood Elevation Mitigation Program
1440 Guerneville Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 565-7500

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