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70 flood-prone properties tabbed for federal aid

WHATCOM - A total of about 70 flood-prone properties have been identified by the county as eligible to be either bought out or have buildings raised with public money.

It's connected to the record flooding that hit Whatcom County in November 2021.

There are two rounds of application for Hazard Mitigation Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Public comment on the first round of application is happening now, through Dec. 15. The county hopes to receive a first batch of money - on a fast track with FEMA - in spring 2023, said Deborah Johnson, an engineer with the county River and Flood Division.

In the first round are 22 properties for acquisition, $11 million requested, and 17 properties for elevation, $3 million requested. In the second round are 19 properties for acquisition ($10 million) and 12 properties for elevation ($3 million), according to the county website under Hazard Mitigation Assistance.

The second round is in process, but some properties need a benefit-cost analysis to see if they meet the federal grant criteria, the county says. The timeframe for this round is several months behind the first.

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