Gloucester County receives FEMA grant award
The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency will award a grant of more than $1 million to elevate and protect 11 homes in Gloucester County from repetitive flooding, according to the press release.
The funding will help property owners reduce future flood risk and keep them in the community.
The FEMA grant, which totals $1,011,551 is 75 percent of the project’s total costs, which is estimated to be $1.29 million. To cover the remaining 25 percent, the commonwealth of Virginia will provide 20 percent of the costs and the homeowner will provide 5 percent.
Gloucester County has received a series of grants since 2004 to help homeowners protect or reduce damage to their properties associated with natural disasters. The first grant provided $700,000 through a Community Development Block Grant to replace or repair seven homes in the Jenkins Neck area that were damaged by Hurricane Isabel in 2003.
Gloucester County received its first FEMA hazard mitigation grant in 2005 and has since received nine FEMA awards totaling more than $9.5 million. The money has been used to elevate or acquire 96 properties.
Paul Koll, a Gloucester County building official and chairman of the Gloucester County Hazard Mitigation Grant Program management team, said that residents who participated in the grant program and have had their home elevated haven't experienced any structural damage from subsequent storms.
The homes also received compliant flood-relief vents and/or breakaway walls that allow for the unrestricted flow of flood waters, which helps protect the structural stability of the homes. The grant program also helps mitigate the number of repetitive claim properties, which results in improved FEMA Community Rating System scores that directly affect the flood insurance premiums of homeowners. Gloucester residents now receive a 15 percent premium discount on flood insurance.