ABSTRACT

FEMA Mitigation Best Practices: Mapleton Elevation Projects Withstand Test   [open pdf - 32KB]

"Lane County, OR - Nestled in a narrow valley of Oregon's Coastal Range, Mapleton has been subject to repeated flooding from the Siuslaw River. In January 2012, the Siuslaw again rose and covered much of Mapleton, but 22 area families didn't have to muck out their homes, tear down wallboard, or toss waterlogged treasures. That is because their homes had been elevated using funding from FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency]. After the massive 1996 floods, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) earmarked a portion of its FEMA hazard mitigation funds to elevate homes in hard-hit areas like Mapleton. The goal was to provide long-term solutions to repetitive floods. The January 2012 flooding was the first major test of the elevation projects begun 16 years ago. They passed with flying colors. 'The stress is nothing like before,' said Bryan Moore, a Mapleton resident. 'There was no water in the house -- that's awesome!' Moore's wife Mashell remembers what it was like in 1996. Her husband is pastor of the church next door, which 'always floods.' As the water rose, Bryan and the other men in the neighborhood worked frantically to move everything in the church to higher levels. Mashell was left to deal with their 102-year-old home."

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