Community flood assistance & resilience

A manufactured home installed on an elevated foundation made of cinder blocks.

An elevated home designed to reduce damage from floods.

The Chehalis Basin Strategy is an ambitious collection of near- and long-term actions as well as small- and large-scale projects designed to reduce flood-related damage while restoring aquatic species habitat in the 2,700 square-mile Chehalis River basin.

To reduce damage from flooding and erosion, we have launched the Community Flood Assistance and Resilience (CFAR) program. The program will help fund small scale projects in the Chehalis Basin focused on preventing future flood or erosion-related damage to individual homes, businesses, and community assets, and addressing or resolving existing risks on an individualized basis.

Program timeline

Starting June 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, CFAR will focus on providing technical support and assistance to interested property owners, and helping communities identify opportunities and set priorities to access program funding.

Among its initial activities, CFAR will also help fund efforts to identify flood- and erosion-hazard areas in the basin to guide and inform property owners and local governments. By identifying areas most at-risk of flooding or erosion, communities and property owners will have up-to-date information to avoid putting new buildings in hazardous areas. This will also help decision making about which existing structures should be addressed first.

Eventually, the CFAR program will provide funding to retrofit structures to protect people and businesses from flooding and erosion. In some cases, funding will be used to acquire at-risk properties, as well as to help people and businesses move dwellings and structures out of harm’s way.

We will develop more detailed CFAR program criteria to manage funding assistance after June 30, 2021.

Initial technical support and assistance

A home with a concrete flood wall surrounding the property and a gate that can be closed across the driveway.

A local flood wall.

Initial technical support and assistance through June 30, 2021, will be focused on flood risks, and help identify flood damage reduction projects. During this time, we will also work to identify erosion hazard areas in the basin.

Technical support to local and tribal governments

Beginning June 1, CFAR will provide no cost technical support to local and tribal governments that are participants in good standing under the National Flood Insurance Program. Technical support could include, but is not limited to, flood preparedness and response education, staff trainings and workshops, and supporting communities in identifying opportunities and priorities for future CFAR funding.

Technical support will be available through June 30, 2021. After that, we will assess initial lessons learned and have better information about available funding, which we will use to determine the future scope and priorities of the long-term program.

Technical assistance to residents and businesses

An entire house loaded on a truck being moved down a highway to a new location.

Relocating a structure.

In the Chehalis River Basin, residents and businesses are also eligible for technical assistance at no charge through June 30, 2021. Our technical advisors can help:

  • Answer questions and give advice about the National Flood Insurance Program, including insurance rates.
  • Identify options for protecting homes, businesses, and community assets from flood damage.
  • Explain how river gauge readings during flood conditions are related to flood levels on specific properties.
  • Pinpoint the most economic ways to help protect dwellings and structures during floods, based on site conditions and types of flooding.

How to participate

Our advisors can also help landowners, business owners, and renters develop projects that may be eligible to apply for future CFAR funding.

CFAR will provide financial assistance for approved projects, based on available funds and current priorities. To request assistance, contact our Office of Chehalis Basin. Our advisors will call you to review your situation and discuss options, explain the financial assistance program help with any necessary documentation and if needed, schedule a site visit to the property.

During the initial phase, we will prioritize requests received before July 17, 2020, for project development and technical assistance.

Requests made after July 17, 2020, may need to wait until we have fulfilled requests made before the mid-July deadline.