Seminole County braces for hurricane season as residents continue recovery

Mitigation projects come as part of FEMA grant program

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – With hurricane season less than two weeks away, Seminole County is taking action to help some families still dealing with the aftermath of last year’s storms.

County officials are moving forward with mitigation projects to help homes in flood-prone areas as part of FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

Emergency Manager Alan Harris spoke to News 6 about how the program works outside the Board of County Commissioners meeting Tuesday.

“After Hurricane Ian, we were allotted a certain amount of money. After Nicole, we actually just received information that we will be obtaining some funds to do further mitigation projects,” Harris said.

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A document included on the agenda Tuesday lists 15 homes and what projects are planned for them.

The properties near Lake Harney, Lake Jesup, the St. John’s River and parts of Altamonte Springs will be bought and demolished, reconstructed or elevated. Other areas have erosion control and even a retaining wall planned.

“Some people are very, very happy about this because they’ve been flooded so many times,” Harris said. “Their home was built before we knew lidar and things like that where floodplains were, so their home has been refurbished, if you will, six, seven times.”

Harris said the federal government covers 75% of the funds to make the community more resilient. There is a 25% local share.

News 6 asked about opportunities for other homeowners. Harris said this particular grant program is closed, but he encouraged people to still call and let them know what their situation is.

“Each year we get hurricanes,” Harris said. “That is something that happens, and so more grants will be coming to the community.”

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About the Author:

Catherine, born and raised in Central Florida, joined News 6 in April 2022.