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RICHMOND— Fifteen residential properties in flood-prone areas of Virginia will be elevated, and another five properties will be acquired and demolished to reduce future flood damage using $5.4 million in federal flooding mitigation grants administered by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM).

“These grant funds will be used to protect those who live in flood-prone homes by reducing or eliminating the effects of repeated flooding,” said Dr. Jeff Stern, State Coordinator of Emergency Management. “We partner with each locality to protect lives and property through these grants, and can drastically reduce local response and recovery needs after flooding events.”

Ronnie Spellman, city of Chesapeake, was a 2013 grant recipient. When Spellman purchased his home it was not in a flood zone, eight years later his home began to flood, he purchased a flood insurance policy and his residence was reclassified as being in a flood zone. In the years that followed Spellman’s home continued to flood, including three flood events with waist-high water in the home which led to post-flooding mold and other challenges.

Upon learning about the flood mitigation program from a neighbor, Spellman attended a city of Chesapeake outreach event for the program and he applied for the grant.  Through the grant, his home was acquired at fair market value. “This program helped me and my family out tremendously, I’m not sure what I would have done without it,” said Spellman.

VDEM received this funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the FY16 Flood Mitigation Assistance grant program. VDEM then awards funds for the eligible projects that were submitted by localities through a competitive grant process. Individual homeowners, businesses and private nonprofits may apply for funding through eligible subapplicants.

This year’s award recipients are:

Jurisdiction Project Award Amount Return on Investment    (Projected)
City of Hampton Elevation of 7 Flood Prone Properties $2,516,700 $3,686,779
City of Chesapeake Acquisition and Demolition        of 5 Flood Prone Properties $1,193,235 $1,380,000
City of Norfolk Elevation of 6 Flood Prone Properties $1,283,150 $1,550,703
Northern Neck Planning District Commission

(Northumberland and Richmond Counties)

Elevation of 2 Flood Prone Properties $407,325 $651,871
Total $5,400,410 $7,269,353

VDEM works with local government, state and federal agencies and voluntary organizations to provide resources and expertise through the five mission areas of emergency management; prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery. To learn more about ways VDEM is working to improve disaster preparedness, response and recovery, visit



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