FEMA Mitigation Best Practices: Modular Home High and Dry in Lyons   [open pdf - 36KB]

"When the waters of the St. Vrain River overflowed their banks in September 2013, the rushing water ripped out huge trees, took out bridges, created new channels through parks, and rushed through some downtown neighborhoods, ravishing homes in Lyons. Homes on Park Street were included in the devastation. Only one remained unscathed, and it was modular. 'Because I've lived in Lyons for so long, I am well aware of the river,' said Donald Mercier. 'I knew that I needed to build up high, above the floodplain.' Before placing his 2,650-square-foot modular home on his Park Street property, Mercier decided that the property (located approximately 120 feet from the St. Vrain River) had to be elevated to provide a defense against the river. Mercier checked with the city's building and zoning department to find out if a raised elevation was possible and obtained a building permit. He consulted a civil engineer who was knowledgeable of the elevation process and who had experience with this type of mitigation technique. The engineer informed Mercier of how high he had to elevate the land to be above the 5,325-foot base flood elevation in Lyons. Approximately four feet of dirt was excavated and set to the side to be used to construct the elevation. A concrete footer creating extended foundation walls was constructed, and the modular home was placed on top of it. This placing also generated a crawl space beneath the home."

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Federal Emergency Management Agency: http://www.fema.gov/
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