Meetings on elevating your home above the floodplain set in Crisfield, Princess Anne

House elevation is not an inexpensive proposition, but through a FEMA grant 75 percent of the cost can be paid for, and the Somerset County Long Term Recovery Committee can help guide homeowners through the process and possibly save them some of the expense through volunteer participation. There is no household income limits, and meetings to explain the program are set in Crisfield, Princess Anne and in November on Smith Island.

House elevation is not an inexpensive proposition, but through a FEMA grant 75 percent of the cost can be paid for, and the Somerset County Long Term Recovery Committee can help guide homeowners through the process and possibly save them some of the expense through volunteer participation. There is no household income limits, and meetings to explain the program are set in Crisfield, Princess Anne and in November on Smith Island.

CRISFIELD — If high water still threatens your home because you live in a floodplain, there is a new opportunity through the Somerset County Long Term Recovery Committee that can lift your spirits. More precisely, it can lift your house.

 

The collaborative of faith-based and non-profit organizations that built 21 new homes and renovated more than 200 others damaged by superstorm Sandy has a grant through FEMA to elevate homes that are in the floodplain. Damage from the October 2012 hurricane is not a pre-requisite and there is no income cap. FEMA pays 75 percent of the cost of the improvement, which can be around $100,000.

 

Under the current grant of more than $900,000 it is projected that more than a dozen properties can be elevated throughout Somerset County.

 

Informational meetings are scheduled about this mitigation opportunity, and the first will be held 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26 at the recovery committee’s Crisfield office at 384 West Main Street. The second meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 27 also at 6:30 at the St. Andrew’s Parish House on Washington Street in Princess Anne. It is anticipated that representatives will also be able to hold a forum on Smith Island in November.

 

Homeowners will have to bear much of the 25 percent requirement but where possible volunteers can be assigned to help reduce some of the expense at a rate of $21 per hour. If volunteers put in 10 hours of time clearing around the foundation, for example, that $2,100 will be included as part of the homeowner’s contribution.

 

Once the work is completed the property will require flood insurance, although with the house being raised over the base flood elevation the premium will be very low. Construction operations manager Kimberly Hopkins is overseeing this new phase of the recovery committee’s work, under the supervision of Pastor Phil Huber. Call 410-968-1002 for more information.

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