Flood Mitigation Program
Flood Mitigation Pilot Program
Financial and technical assistance for owners of properties on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) repetitive loss list.
This program assists with improvements that make buildings more resistant to flood damage by sharing the expenses of FEMA approved wet flood-proofing methods. Eligible owners may receive:
- Matching grants to reimburse up to 50% of the cost eligible flood mitigation construction (up to the program maximum of $3,000 per property).
- Paying up to 80% of the cost of an elevation certificate.
- Additional grant funds may be available for owners enrolled in our Elderly & Disabled or Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption programs.
Complete program details are contained in the Flood Mitigation Program Guidelines (PDF). For more information, email us or call Marion Paine at 757-253-6673.
If you live in a flood-prone area the best place to start is to get an elevation certificate. Due to new federal requirements, you may have already been notified that you are required to do so. Property owners required to have flood insurance are now required to obtain an elevation certificate. Elevation certificates determine where your house and other structures are in relation to the base flood elevation or special flood hazard areas.
Seeing all the features on the property in relation to elevation will help you best prepare. You may find that only a portion of your property has a level of risk that requires mitigation measures. Many houses in James City County are on septic systems, making them susceptible to backflow problems during a flooding event. James City County has also made available a database of elevation certificates that were submitted for County review. If you have reason to believe that a previous property owner had an elevation certificate completed and submitted it for review, please check the database. Database is coming soon!
Once you have identified areas of concern you may want to consider a range of techniques to mitigate flooding impacts. Here is a list of some helpful techniques:
- Backflow Valves
Installing a backflow valve will prevent sewage from backing up into the house.
Look for water entry points into the house, doorways, drains, cracks in the foundation, and windows; consider placing a barricade to restrict water access at possible points of entry.
Crawl spaces or basements can be filled with sand or dirt.
- Flood Vents or Break-Away Walls
If your house is on a crawl space, installing flood vents or break-away walls would help reduce the pressure on exterior walls by allowing water to freely flow in and out of the crawl space.
- Lifting Structures
If it is too costly or just impracticable to lift the entire house consider lifting the HVAC unit, ductwork, plumbing and/or electric meter.
- Clear Debris
Ensure ditches, storm drain inlets and stream channels are free of debris to allow the free flow of water.
If flood conditions should occur in your area, take the following steps:
- Heed flood warnings. Listen to the radio or television for information.
- Do not walk through flowing water. Be especially cautious at night during flood events.
- Do not drive through a flooded area; turn around - don't drown. If your vehicle stalls in high water, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.
- Know how to shut off your utilities (electricity, gas, etc.) and turn them off in the event you experience flooding. Stay away from power lines and gas leaks. Electrical current can travel through water and lead to electrocution.
- Learn about the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 203(k) Loans and Flood Mitigation Rehabilitation (PDF).
- For a helpful video on flood-proofing your home, please visit the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes.