The November 2021 flooding events severely impacted residents and businesses throughout our community. As a result, Whatcom County and the Cities of Everson, Ferndale, and Sumas are leading an effort to develop a Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) grant application to mitigate properties impacted by the November flood. The HMGP program provides funding to state, local, and tribal governments so they can rebuild in a way that reduces or mitigates future disaster losses.
The first step in this effort is to conduct outreach to those impacted by the floods and identify interest in mitigation measures, such as elevating a structure or acquiring a property. The County will also develop short- and long-term strategies to secure available grant funding to mitigate flood-prone properties in the unincorporated areas of the County.
The County and the Cities of Everson and Ferndale identified target areas for specific mitigation actions to include in an initial grant application. The County will send letters to property owners that fall within the target areas in Everson, Ferndale, and unincorporated Whatcom County, focusing on areas that experienced the most significant damage. The purpose of this letter is to gage mitigation interest from property owners.
If you receive a letter from the County, your property is located in the target area and is invited to participate in the grant application. Participation is fully voluntary. Participating in the grant application does not guarantee award.
The City of Sumas is taking a different approach and is gaging interest from property owners before identifying which specific properties to target for acquisition or elevation. Sumas residents will get a different letter that details the city’s approach and how homeowners in Sumas can show their interest in the program.
Whatcom County and the City of Nooksack are working on flood protection options that would not involve the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Additional information specific to Nooksack flood protection options will be released in the coming months.
If you do not receive a letter, this does not mean you are ineligible for a mitigation program. The Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District will pursue additional grant opportunities over the next year and we will notify you of the opportunities as they become available. Additional information on Whatcom County’s HMGP application will be posted on www.whatcomcounty.us/flood, click on the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program link.
The HMGP grant is just one way we are responding to the recent flood event. Local, state, tribal, and federal governments are working together on a multitude of other response actions to mitigate and protect the community from future floods. More information on these other actions will be provided as it becomes available. We look forward to continuing to work with the community toward a more resilient Whatcom County.