FEMA Mitigation Best Practices: Mitigation Saves House and Lifestyle Along Creek   [open pdf - 51KB]

"September of 2013 will forever be remembered in Colorado due to the massive flooding that overwhelmed the state. The city of Boulder was one of the hardest hit areas devastated by rainfall. Mark Schueneman's home was spared due to the advice that he followed from the emergency manager. That advice was to elevate. 'When choosing a lot to build my house on, I specifically wanted to build near Left Hand Creek,' said Schueneman, a retired concrete contractor. Given his proximity to the floodplain, he was advised to build an additional two feet of freeboard above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) to reduce his risk of flooding. It cost him only a little more to raise his home but the protection was worth it so that he could live in this location. 'I wanted to be near water. My bedroom is 40 feet from the creek and the sound of the water helps me to sleep soundly,' said Schueneman. Schueneman, the designer and builder, began construction of the 2450-square-foot adobe dwelling in 2007 and completed it in 2008. The house is located in the Crestview Estates Subdivision. A unique feature of the house is that straw bale construction was utilized. 'Straw bale construction is great for insulating homes and it keeps the moisture level down,' said Schueneman. Schueneman is the former Director of the Colorado Straw Bale Association and presently on the Board of Directors. Another mitigation effort that Schueneman incorporated along with the elevation is a rock barrier surrounding his house designed to ward off wildfires."

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