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File #: 2020-0529   
Type: Consent Calendar Item Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 5/19/2020 In control: County Administrator
On agenda: 7/28/2020 Final action:
Title: Recovery and Resiliency Update
Department or Agency Name(s): County Administrator
Attachments: 1. Summary Report
Date Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsVideo
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To: Sonoma County Board of Supervisors

Department or Agency Name(s): County Administrator’s Office

Staff Name and Phone Number: Christel Querijero, 565-7071

Vote Requirement: Informational Only

Supervisorial District(s): All




Recovery and Resiliency Update



Recommended Actions:

Recommended action

Receive an update on the status of recovery operations, planning, and external funding opportunities following recent disasters, including the 2019 Kincade Fire, 2017 Sonoma Complex Fires, and 2019 Winter Storm and Floods.



Executive Summary:

Office of Recovery and Resiliency staff provides the Board monthly updates on disaster recovery efforts, including building permits, external funding and grant efforts, and relevant legislation.  Additional information covers the Kincade fire debris removal, 2017 Insurance Collection, and HMGP efforts. 



To keep the Board and community informed about the County’s recovery efforts, the Office of Recovery and Resiliency (Office) prepares a monthly agenda item, typically included on the consent calendar. Monthly updates includes information on: Ongoing Recovery Efforts; Housing; Recovery Related External Funding Opportunities; and other items of interest.  The areas that have been updated since the previous month’s Recovery Update have been noted with a yellow highlight on the paragraph title.   When additional disasters are experienced, updates are broadened to encompass additional recovery efforts.


This Recovery and Resiliency Update includes information on the 2019 Kincade Fire, 2017 Sonoma Complex Fires, and the 2019 Winter Storm and Floods. Separately, in depth funding updates are conducted by the Disaster Finance Team (DFT) which consists of CAO, ACTTC, and relevant department representatives. Most recently, on 11/19/2019, under the CAO’s leadership the DFT provided expenses incurred, project costs not yet incurred, and reimbursement eligibility from FEMA and Cal-OES. See <>  The next DFT update is tentatively planned for July 2020 with the exact date still being finalized.


In 2020, the Office will present semi-annual and annual reports to the Board on the status of the implementation of the Recovery and Resiliency Framework following the 2017 Sonoma Complex Fires. The next update is tentatively planned for 9/15/2020.





2020 COVID-19 Emergency


Since March 2, 2020, a local health emergency has been in effect due to the introduction of COVID-19 coronavirus into the County of Sonoma/Sonoma County Operational Area.  A separate, comprehensive update is provided to your Board at every Board meeting. 


At the Board’s direction, on May 1, 2020, the Economic Development Board (EDB) formed Reopening Workgroups to engage community, business, and industry partners and to serve as a conduit to the County Health Officer for mitigation best practices required to reopen local businesses. The Workgroups were structured along industry lines and around work groups that will recommend appropriate mitigation strategies for similar operational settings based on guidelines for personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning and disinfecting, distancing, and other physical or engineered methods currently recommended by health professionals. Over 80 local business owners and professionals took place in these work groups, which were staffed and facilitated by the EDB and its economic development partners from throughout the county. EDB continues to engage Workgroups on an as needed basis.  For additional information on the work to date please visit the EDB site. 

As a continuation of Recovery and Reopening work, on June 1, 2020 EDB received direction to begin work on economic recovery in Sonoma County.  This work is comprised to two distinct efforts.  The first effort, a Living With COVID-19 advisory committee, will be focused on reopening, economic vitality and community safety.  The committee will address challenges and opportunities surrounding a phased and safe re-opening of county businesses in line with state health orders, ensuring community safety, access to resources and clarity of information critical to remaining open throughout the remaining stages of the pandemic.

The second effort, to ensure the County continues along a path leading to business and community recovery, work must continue in tandem and beyond the reopening phase. Thus, a diverse and inclusive recovery process shall be in place, staffed by the EDB and Office of Recovery and Resiliency, and supported by an Economic Recovery Task Force comprised of business, community and civic leaders.  The Economic Recovery Task Force will focus on three specific elements of recovery, to ensure an inclusive approach. These include, 1) industry specific recovery, 2) workforce recovery and 3) community recovery. Deliverables from the task force will help to inform a long term recovery strategic plan.


The Food Task Force was established in March 2020 to address food insecurity associated with the COVID-19 event.  Existing food banks and community organizations engaged in food security activities were engaged because they have the expertise, equipment, and systems in place to be able to effectively and efficiently expand capacity with additional resources and support from the County, State/Federal, and philanthropic sources.  All food distribution agencies have seen significant increases in numbers. 


As an example of the increased demand due to COVID food insecurity, Redwood Empire Food Bank, the largest food provider in the county, reported a weekly average increase for the month of June of 112% over the week Shelter In Place began on March 17, 2020 for pounds of food distributed.   


Pre-COVID (Pounds)

April  Weekly Average

May  Weekly Average

June  Weekly Average










As of July 2020, the County has provided direct funding to Redwood Empire Food Bank, Salvation Army, Ceres, Sonoma Family Meal, Petaluma People Services Center, Council on Aging, Coastal Seniors, Food For Thought, and Catholic Charities.  These providers are a combination of countywide, “umbrella” agencies or they provide a unique geographically or demographically focused area of coverage, including boxed groceries, prepared meals, and medically tailored meals.  This has resulted in a countywide, all-ages, all-demographics food program throughout the County. Total funding from County to date has been a FEMA-PA eligible $1 million. FEMA will cover 75% of the eligible expenses, it is not yet known if the State will cover any of the eligible expenses, and the County will cover the remaining of the eligible expenses. Any ineligible expenses are the responsibility of the County. 


As part of the recently approved Families First Coronavirus Response Act (HR 6201), the California Department of Aging obtained approval to directly allocate emergency dollars to local Area Agencies on Aging (AAA).  On April 8, 2020, CDA confirmed the Sonoma County Area

Agency on Aging would receive $344,553 to be used for AAA direct and contracted services with community agencies to provide meals for older adults, supportive services, and family caregiver support in response to increased needs due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. This emergency funding from the California Department of Aging is to supplement and expand meals to older adults, age 60+.


In collaboration with the Latinx Health Task Force, the Food Task Force has, in addition to their current mission, allocated funds to Food For Thought to provide meals to Latinx and indigenous speaking community members who are COVID positive (or contacts required to isolate) and do not have any social resources to assist them in food acquisition. The Latinx Health Task Force is the liaison with Public Health to communicate this new resource availability.


In June 2020, the County entered into a contract with Equity First Consulting to engage County Latinx and indigenous speaking communities to help inform future County communications regarding COVID-19. In addition to community and stakeholder feedback, Equity First Consulting will research other jurisdictions’ communication methods and strategies to further inform future County communications. Equity First Consulting’s work is expected to take approximately six weeks, with final findings due by the end of July.


Constantly updated information on the current Health Orders and the Coronavirus Dashboard can be found at <> 


2019 Kincade Fire


Pacific Gas & Electric ("PG&E") instituted de-energization in the Sonoma County Operational Area beginning at approximately 2:15 PM on October 23, 2019, due to extreme fire danger weather, impacting 260,000 residents. In preparation, the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated at approximately 8:00 AM on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, to assist with managing the impacts of de-energization.


The Kincade Fire ignited around 9:00 PM on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 northeast of Geyserville, and burned until November 7, 2019. The fire was driven by high winds with the fire spreading rapidly, forcing the evacuation of over 190,000 residents, destroying 374 structures (174 homes, 11 commercial), damaging an additional 60 structures (34 residences), and burning 77,758 acres generally east of Geyserville, Healdsburg and Windsor and across to the Sonoma/Lake County line. A total of 21 evacuation shelters were set up and served 4,850 individuals, as well as pets and livestock.


The conditions created by the Kincade Fire were exacerbated by an unprecedented series of wind events-commencing on Tuesday, October 22, 2019, Saturday, October 26, 2019, and Tuesday, October 29, 2019, respectively-with historic maximum wind speeds and corresponding de-energization by PG&E of large portions of the electric grid in the Sonoma County Operational Area.


A local emergency proclamation was issued by the County Administrator on October 24, 2019 and ratified by the Board. In addition, on October 25, 2019, Governor Newson issued a state emergency proclamation for the counties of Sonoma and Los Angeles due to the effects of the Kincade and Tick fires.


To protect residents from hazardous debris exposure after a wildfire, the Sonoma County Health Officer Dr. Celeste Philip issued an order on November 1, 2019 advising community members to refrain from entering the burn footprint without personal protective equipment.  On November 5, 2019, the Board of Supervisors passed an emergency ordinance requiring authorization from the Department of Health Services, Environmental Health, prior to commencing debris removal work.


1.                     Debris Removal


Before the fire was extinguished, the County started working closely with State partners to plan for fire debris removal. As a result of the Proclamation of a Local Health Emergency, the County, through the Debris Removal Task Force, entered into an emergency contract with NRC to perform Household Hazardous Waste sweeps on all burned parcels for a cost not-to-exceed $750,000.  The clean-up was completed on February 13, 2020. The contract is being managed by Transportation & Public Works and the contract work is being managed by Fire Prevention/Permit Sonoma. The contract has been paid out of the Kincade Disaster Fund and should qualify as a reimbursable expense.


Sonoma County Environmental Health is managing the second step of fire debris removal and assisting property owners with this process. Following the Household Hazardous Waste sweep, property owners must submit an application and plan to Environmental Health for approval prior to commencing debris removal. The deadline for submission of an application and plan was January 31, 2020. All cleanup activities must be completed pursuant to standards set forth by the County to ensure the protection of public health. Documentation of adequate clean-up and proper disposal is required.


As of July 10, 2020, 14 properties (out of 226) have not submitted a plan and/or an application. Follow-up mailings have been sent to those property owners. 105 properties have cleaned all debris and are approved for rebuilding efforts to begin.  Additionally, 33 exemptions have been approved.  Due to the COVID-19 health emergency and the Shelter-In-Place Orders issued by the Sonoma County Public Health Officer, the deadline for all debris to be removed and soil sampling completed was extended to August 1, 2020.


Property owners who have not yet submitted debris removal paperwork can still download a Debris Removal Application form at <> and contact Environmental Health for assistance at 707-565-6700 or <>. Additional information about Debris Removal Requirements and a Debris Removal Completion Certification information is also posted on this site.

Sonoma County Environmental Health and CalRecycle held a Debris Removal Training for contractors, waste haulers, and property owners on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 to provide information about the debris removal process. A recording of this training is posted at <>.


2.                     Watershed Task Force

Federal, state, local agencies, and community groups have formed the Watershed Task Force to take action to protect the health and safety of the local watershed by providing storm water pollution and debris flow information and support after the 2019 Kincade Fire.


While it is the responsibility of property owners in the process of clean-up and rebuilding to control storm runoff and prevent pollutants, including sediment, from entering storm drains, creeks, rivers, and wetlands, the County is providing $300,000 to fund implementation of BMP’s on private property. Contracts are with Russian Riverkeeper, Soil Conservation, and Sonoma Ecology Center.  All three organizations have experience with BMPs after the 2017 Fires and are continuing their efforts with the Kincade Fire.  The three contracts run until December 31, 2020 and are encumbered for $83,000 each for a total of $249,000.  Together, the three contractors have a combined amount of $90,342.59 remaining for preparation for the 2020/21 rainy season.  The unencumbered $51,000 remains in the Kincade fire disaster fund a reserve if there is an emergency action that needs to be taken in the Kincade burn area.


The Watershed Task Force is also working through two members of the Task Force to pursue additional funding for water quality protection: the California State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) and Sonoma Resource Conservation District (Sonoma RCD).  Sonoma RCD has submitted a $350,000 319(H) grant to the Water Board and on July 7, 2020 received a signed contract from the State.  The contract amount is $353,727. There is no County of Sonoma match for this 319(H) grant.


Wattles and other BMP materials, such as straw, continue to be available for purchase at various agriculture, garden supply and hardware stores.


Additional efforts by the Watershed Task Force included developing a debris flow hazard assessment with the State of California through the development of a WERT Report.  Citizens are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the potential hazards associated with the burned areas by view the interactive Limited Scope Post-Fire Hazard Assessment Map <> (the associated Limited Scope WERT Report is linked at the top of the map).


Property owners can visit <> for extensive information and resources about how to be Rain Ready.


3.                     Funding Opportunities

Kincade Fire recovery funding assistance includes the following:


A.                     Clean Water Act (CWA) 319(H) emergency funding: Sonoma Resource Conservation District (RCD) will receive $353,727 in CWA 319(H) emergency funding for purchase of best management practice (BMP) materials that would be placed by non-governmental organization (NGO) partners in burn areas. These materials would also be used to replace previously placed materials in burn zones. Originally the funding was to have been utilized before Summer 2020, but the contract delay due to the coronavirus pandemic has pushed this schedule out to a yet-to-be-determined date which means that any BMP materials purchased must also be placed by a yet to be established date.


B.                     California Disaster Assistance Act (CDAA) Program:  On November 26, 2019, the Kincade Fire wire was determined to be eligible for CDAA funding.  CDAA Funding is for eligible disaster costs not eligible under FMAG which includes Permanent Work to repair/replace structure and infrastructure damages and other Emergency Response costs that cannot be claimed through FMAG.  CDAA will reimburse 75% of eligible costs.  Disaster Finance working with affected departments determined a preliminary estimate of $7.5M in CDAA assistance with an estimated County share of $1,875,000 (25%).


C.                     Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG): On October 24, 2019, a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG) declaration was approved by FEMA in response to the Kincade Fire.  FMAG covers costs associate with Emergency Response (CAT B), Mutual Aid, and Fire Suppression costs.  FMAG will reimburse 75% of eligible costs with CDAA reimbursing an additional 18.75% of eligible costs.  Disaster Finance preliminary estimate for FMAG eligible costs is $6M with an estimated County Share of $375,000 (6.25%).  


D.                     FEMA Hazard Mitigation Post Fire Grant Program for FMAG-declared fires: Permit Sonoma submitted a notice of intent for consideration in early June for additional funding for their defensible space and vegetation management efforts.


4.                     Recovery Resources

The Office of Recovery and Resiliency, in collaboration with County departments and community resources, is maintaining a Recovery website for the Kincade Fire, at <>. This site contains information on the following key topics:

1.                     Returning Home after a fire, including information about smoke damage, food safety, cleaning and sanitizing, and mental health resources to support the community during this time.

2.                     Rebuilding site that directs property owners to Permit Sonoma to receive information about how to start in the rebuilding process and what support is available. This includes information about the Resiliency Center, originally created following the Sonoma Complex Fires and now also available to those impacted by the Kincade Fire. The Resiliency Center will be gathering data on Kincade Fire rebuilding support and permitting needs over the coming months.

3.                     Debris Removal section of the site contains FAQ’s for both the initial Household Hazardous Waste Sweep and fire debris removal.

4.                     Rapid Evaluation Safety Assessment and Property Clean-Up status and maps

5.                     Air Quality information

6.                     Local Recovery Resources, including County, community, and state and federal resources.

7.                     Rain Readiness site with extensive information for property owners to protect creeks and waterways from debris runoff.


The Economic Development Board has also added information about recovery resources available for businesses at <>. This includes information about Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans available for property owners and businesses. Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at <>. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email <> for more information on SBA disaster assistance. The deadline to apply for property damage was January 17, 2020, however the deadline to apply for economic injury is August 18, 2020.


2017 Sonoma Complex Fires


In addition to recovery from the Kincade Fire, the County remains committed to supporting property owners impacted by the 2017 Sonoma Complex Fires. Information below highlights recovery updates in the areas of Housing, Debris Removal Insurance Collection, FEMA Public Assistance, Funding Opportunities, and other updates.


1.                     Housing


A.                     Resiliency Permit Center

The Resiliency Permit Center at Permit Sonoma continues to provide expedited comprehensive permitting and inspection services for those who lost homes in the fires and their representatives dealing with reconstruction of approximately 3,000 residential structures destroyed or damaged by the Sonoma Complex Fires. Services at the Resiliency Permit Center began February 13, 2018.  The Resiliency Permit Center also provides free general review of bid proposals to fire survivors to help them determine where scope and pricing are appropriate.


B.                     Rebuilding Permits

As of July 14, 2020, the combined County and City permit departments have had 3,944 homes, or 76.69% of the homes lost in the fires, start the permitting process. Of those homes in the rebuild process, 196 were in the permit review process, 1,873 have been permitted and under construction, and 1,875 had completed construction. The remaining 1,199, or 23.31%, of the homes lost in the fires, have not yet started the permitting process in order to rebuild.


The combined rebuild has more homes rebuilt (1,875) than homes that have not yet entered the rebuilding process (1,199).


2.                     Defensible Space/Hazardous Fuels Reduction

Permit Sonoma Fire Prevention Division, in coordination with Cal Fire and several local Fire Districts, are in the midst of conducting seasonal outreach, education, and inspections for compliance with defensible space/hazardous fuels reduction regulations and will perform abatement as necessary.  However, neither Cal FIRE nor the Fire Districts do abatement; therefore, Sonoma County will do abatements as necessary within the allocated budget based on seasonal timing as permitted.  Inspections are performed by Cal FIRE in the State Responsibility Area (SRA), while Local Fire Districts may perform inspections in both the SRA and/or in the Local Responsibility Area (LRA) based on inspection areas identified in conjunction with the County of Sonoma Fire Prevention Division.  Additional details about the County’s program are accessible online at: <>


Sonoma County staff working with our Fire District partners has a goal to perform up to 4,400 inspections, including complaints and re-inspections, in the proposed budget.  In 2019, Sonoma County and the local Fire District partners conducted a total of 2,993 inspections.


Cal Fire has advised they will perform some level of physical inspections. Due to the COVID-19 emergency, Cal Fire has set a goal of 2,500 for 2020.  In 2019, CAL FIRE performed 3,851 inspections.


Together, Sonoma County and Cal Fire have a combined goal to perform 7,900 inspections, including complaints and re-inspections in 2020.


In addition to the outreach, inspections, and enforcement program, the 2020 countywide free chipper service has also begun. Chipper season opened on May 4, 2020. The County had 604 applications since July 10, 2020, with 181 of the jobs completed by crews, 25 jobs completed by property owners, and 31 applications that did not meet program guidelines. 


For comparison, last year from May through December 2019, there were 468 chipper jobs completed by crews and 63 jobs completed by property owners for a total of 531 chipper jobs completed in 2019.


Additional details about the program, including guidelines and application forms, are accessible online at: <>


3.                     Debris Removal Insurance Collection

The Office of Recovery & Resiliency has managed the private debris insurance collection on behalf of FEMA/CalOES. A total of 3,671 properties received the federal/state debris removal assistant. To date ORR has collected approximately $72 million from 1,524 property owners (or approximately 41%).  Due to the extent of the damage caused to properties during the debris removal process, the County initiated the Debris Insurance Collection Program in which property owners may be reimbursed for repairs needed as a result of the debris removal process (i.e., destruction of driveways, curbs and sidewalks due to heavy equipment, over-excavation, etc.). In addition, the County is permitting debris insurance monies to be used for tree removal. To date, the County has reimbursed approximately $5.5 million to 251 property owners, and 187 property owners have withheld approximately $4.4 million of their debris insurance money for these qualifying expenses. Combined, the County has received paperwork/payments from 1,663 property owners, or 45% of the total parcels affected by the Sonoma Complex Fires.

Both FEMA and CalOES were provided details on the reimbursement component of the County’s Program. However, as with all programs using Federal money, the Program is subject to later audits that could potentially result in FEMA/OIG recoupment of benefits and the County needing to reverse these reimbursements. In order to minimize any potential exposure to the County for the reimbursements to property owners, the County is requiring all property owners that receive reimbursements verify that they have not received a duplication of benefits, which would be a violation of the Federal Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief & Emergency Assistance Act.

4.                     FEMA Public Assistance - Sonoma Complex Fires

On November 19, 2019, your Board received an update from the Disaster Finance Team regarding the status of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) claims from 2017 Floods and Fire and 2019 Floods. This full Board item and supporting documents can be viewed at: <>  


5.                     FEMA Public Assistance Appeal

The October 2017 wildfires caused damage to curbs, gutters, sidewalks, asphalt roads, a storm drain, and a timber retaining wall.  Sonoma County requested funding for repairs to these facilities, as well as to 51 damaged asphalt sites in the Mark West/Larkfield area on county roads.  FEMA initially denied funding for the repairs relating to the sidewalks, curbs, gutters, storm drain and retaining wall totaling $126,525.  Sonoma County appealed FEMA's denial of the repairs. On May 24, 2019, Cal-OES informed the County, via letter, FEMA approved the appeal for $126,525 which means the County will be receiving the funds to make the repairs.


Sonoma County has identified damage to county roads resulting from the Private Property Debris Removal operations that were conducted by the United States Army Corps of Engineers at FEMA's request. TPW was notified that FEMA has denied this request for $18,512,123 to fund repair of 32 roads damaged by debris removal trucks. The County received the official Determination/Notice denying the Private Property Debris Removal road damage.  The County sent an official appeal letter to Cal-OES on January 22, 2020.


After Transportation and Public Works (TPW) staff inquired about reimbursement for Private Property Debris Removal damaged roads, FEMA and CalOES project managers requested documentation to support the damages. TPW subsequently provided engineering estimates that included type of treatment needed and materials. Site visits were conducted with FEMA representatives, and before and after photos of each site were provided for reference.


On 5/28/2020, the County received a letter from Cal-OES dated 5/24/19 regarding the PPDR damaged roads appeal.  Cal-OES has submitted the letter to FEMA with the State’s recommendation not to approve the appeal.  The County is not expecting to be granted the appeal and as this is the second round of appeals, the appeal options for FEMA funding have been exhausted.



The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) helps communities implement hazard mitigation activities following a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration. HMGP funding is used to provide protection to undamaged parts of a facility or to prevent or reduce damages caused by future disasters. HMGP is managed by the State under funding provided for in Section 404 of the Stafford Act. The entire state - not just presidentially declared counties - may qualify for HMGP mitigation projects. The State receives a percentage of the total federal share of the declared disaster damage amount, which it uses to fund projects anywhere in the State, regardless of where the declared disaster occurred or the disaster type.


The cost share for HMGP is 75% federal with a 25% non-federal or County match. The County’s share is projected at the beginning of the application process, and funding sources are identified before the application is submitted. In addition to some special funds (non-general funds) being used for the local match, the County also set aside $4 million in anticipation of the local share requirement. The following table shows the estimated balance of the Resiliency Set Aside as $1.6 million as of 7/8/20:


Grant Match


Creative Sonoma-NEA Community & Economic Redev Projects


Awarded Projects - match amount


Radio Disaster Alert Devices for Vulnerable Populations


Advance Assistance: Wildfire Adapted Sonoma County Phase 1


Fire Early Warning Camera System


Data Center Generator


Operational Area Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update


Community Wildfire Protection Plan Update


Grant Match Balance as of 5/21/20


HMGP projects under FEMA or CalOES review


Estimated Set Aside Balance for Grant Match



Recent disasters that have current HMGP grant activity include:





CA severe winter storms, flooding, mudslides (Feb 2017)


CA wildfires (Oct 2017)


CA wildfires, flooding, mudflows, debris flows (Jan 2018)


CA wildfires- Butte, LA, Ventura (Nov 2018)


CA severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, mudslides (Feb 2019)


FMAG - Camp Fire


FMAG Post Fire - Kincade


The “lead agency” refers to the County department or agency that is submitting the HMGP application and who is the primary grant contact.


Lead Agency

Full Name


Community Development Commission


Department of Emergency Management


Information Systems Department

Permit Sonoma

formerly Permit and Resource Management Department

Regional Parks

Regional Parks


Sonoma County Water Agency


Transportation and Public Works




To date, $16.3 million has been awarded, or obligated, in HMGP grant funding. Upon award, the department can begin to work on the mitigation project. Below is a summary of the projects that have received HMGP funding:


DR #

Lead Agency

     Project Name

Project Cost

Grant Request


GF Match










Radio Disaster Alert Devices






Permit Sonoma

Wildfire Adapted Sonoma County







Fire Early Warning Camera System







Flood Elevation Program







Advanced Radar Flood Warning System







Green Valley Creek Restoration & Flood Resiliency







Santa Rosa Creek Crossing Hazard Mitigation







County Airport Generator







Data Center Generator







Seismic Rehab of Clarifiers, Sonoma Valley CSD







Generator Installation at Road Maintenance Yard






Permit Sonoma

Op Area Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan






Permit Sonoma

Community Wildfire Protection Plan Update







Ely Booster Station Hazard Mitigation







Seismic Rehab of Clarifiers, Russian River CSD







Penngrove Lift Station Flood Resiliency Project





Total Awarded






Sixteen projects that have been approved by FEMA for a total of $28,521,907 in project costs, $16,270,324 in grants received, and $1,553,728 coming from the General Fund for the required match.



County - awarded HMGP project descriptions:


DEM: Radio Disaster Alert Devices for Vulnerable Populations

$33,000 awarded May 2020; completion by May 2023

This funding will enable the purchase and distribution of radio disaster alert devices to vulnerable populations in the Sonoma County Operational Area (OA). The system will use pre-existing infrastructure operated and maintained by the national Weather Service (NWS) to augment the Sonoma OA’s alerting systems.


Permit Sonoma: Advance Assistance - Wildfire Adapted Sonoma County Phase 1

$1,692,510 awarded March 2020; anticipated completion March 2021

This project will educate wildlife urban interface (WUI) residents in unincorporated Sonoma County about the importance of defensible space and the principles of structural hardening, through targeted events and outreach. Outreach will be followed by comprehensive, community-wide defensible space inspections and voluntary WUI structural hardening evaluations. The project will address vegetation within 100 feet of a structure and focus on reducing the flammability of the structures themselves.


DEM: Fire Early Warning Camera System

$2,042,039 awarded February 2020; anticipated completion February 2023

This funding will enable the County install a network of fire detection cameras throughout the County that can detect fire day or night. These cameras will provide early detection of fires and provide precise locations that can be transmitted to dispatchers and emergency operations managers immediately.


TPW: Green Valley Creek Restoration and Flood Resiliency Project - Phase 1 (DR-4308)

$376,673 awarded January 2020; anticipated completion December 2021

This project will reduce the frequency and duration of flooding at Green Valley Road in order to address public safety risks, recurrent road and private property damage, and impacts to listed and endangered species in the watershed. This project is a joint effort between the Department of Transportation and Public Works and Sonoma Water.


CDC: Flood Elevation Program (DR-4301)

$2,198,796 awarded January 2020; anticipated completion February 2022

The Sonoma County Flood Elevation Program elevates single and multi-family dwellings above established base flood elevation, which reduces damage to structures and prevents loss of life and property. This funding will elevate ten homes in the Russian River area. The County’s Flood Elevation program has elevated 293 homes since its inception in 1997; over the years, the program has been funded by both HMGP and Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grants.


TPW: County Airport Generator

$359,460 awarded November 2019; anticipated completion September 2022

During the 2017 fires, the Sonoma County Airport experienced a total power loss and had to shut down terminal operations for two days. A reliable airport power supply will ensure continued operation of critical infrastructure, airline and security services during an emergency.


ISD: County Data Center Generator - Phase 1

$26,584 awarded November 2019; anticipated completion August 2020

Installing a generator at the Sonoma County Data Center will ensure that emergency response and public safety systems, including 911 calls and computer-aided dispatch systems, will be available during a power outage. Phase 1 is the design phase.


TPW: Generator Installation at Santa Rosa Road Maintenance Yard

$186,741 awarded August 2019; anticipated completion November 2020

Installing a generator at the Santa Rosa Road Maintenance Yard will enable the facility to function as the Sonoma County Transportation and Public Works’ Operation Center by providing power for critical dispatching activities during a disaster.


Permit Sonoma: Operational Area Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update

$249,998 awarded August 2019; anticipated completion August 2022

The Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan will encompass a more comprehensive, regional approach to potential hazards and minimize duplication of efforts.


Permit Sonoma: Community Wildfire Protection Plan Update

$150,000 awarded August 2019; anticipated completion August 2022

The existing countywide Community Wildfire Protection Plan will be updated with new fire and seismic data, in collaboration with Fire Safe Sonoma.


Sonoma Water: Advanced Radar Flood Warning System - Phase 1

$110,101 awarded January 2020; anticipated completion April 2021

Precise rainfall forecasting for atmospheric rivers gives flood control managers, including Sonoma Water, emergency responders, transportation officials and media outlets more accurate information on the location, timing and intensity of expected rainfall. This funding will expand a regional flood monitoring and forecasting system to cover a critical coverage gap in Marin and Sonoma counties. Phase 1 includes final site analysis, installation design and configuration.


Sonoma Water: Seismic Rehabilitation and Retrofit of Secondary Treatment Clarifiers, Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District - Phase 1

$195,959 awarded October 2019; anticipated completion April 2021

This project will replace the internal mechanisms of the two secondary treatment clarifiers at the Sonoma Valley wastewater treatment plant with new components designed to meet current standards for seismic resilience and to ensure operational function following a magnitude 8.0 earthquake along the San Andreas Fault. Phase 1 includes determining structural, mechanical, and demolition methods and preparing construction specifications and contract documents.


Sonoma Water: Water Transmission System Ely Booster Station Hazard Mitigation

$2,306,867 awarded June 2019; anticipated completion June 2022

Sonoma Water’s Ely Booster Station supplies water to over 310,000 residents in Marin and Sonoma counties. This project would seal electrical enclosures, elevate equipment, anchor equipment and construct a sheet pile wall to mitigate the potential for liquefaction and lateral spread in the event of a major earthquake.


Sonoma Water: Santa Rosa Creek Crossing Hazard Mitigation Project (DR-4240)

$2,979,959 awarded November 2019; anticipated completion September 2021

This funding will enable Sonoma Water to relocate a portion of the Santa Rosa Aqueduct from an area that falls within the “very high” hazard zone for failure during an earthquake to a below-street location. A portion of pipeline that crosses under Santa Rosa Creek will be micro-tunneled under the existing bridge and concrete box culvert in which the creek currently passes.


Sonoma Water: Seismic Rehabilitation and Retrofit of Secondary Treatment Clarifiers, Russian River County Sanitation District (DR-4308)

$2,238,402 awarded September 2018; anticipated completion September 2021

This project will replace the internal mechanisms of the three secondary treatment clarifiers at the Russian River wastewater treatment plant with new components designed to meet current standards for seismic resilience and to ensure operational function following a magnitude 8.0 earthquake along the San Andreas Fault. The funding will contribute to both the design and construction of the project.


Sonoma Water: Penngrove Sanitation Zone Lift Station Flood Resilency Project (DR-4301)

$350,266 awarded August 2017; $305,920 additional funding preliminarily approved February 2020; anticipated completion February 2021

The location and design of the Penngrove Sanitation Zone Lift Station are increasingly prone to flooding during major storm events. This funding will enable Sonoma Water to lift the electrical equipment above the 500-year flood elevation level, reducing the risk of sanitary sewer overflows due to power loss.


Prior to grant award, an application goes through various stages.

Approved Notice of Intent (NOI) to apply

The initial stage of an HMGP application is an NOI, which then expands to the proposal development phase. The following projects are in this first stage of application:

Approved NOI



Project Name

Project Cost



Critical Facility Redundant Power Feed




Pipeline Crossing Vulnerability Assessment



Permit Sonoma

Russian River Flood Risk and Vulnerability Assessment




Sonoma County Flood Elevation Program



Permit Sonoma

Sonoma County Non-Structural Migration of Flood




Sonoma Valley County Sanitation District LHMP Update



Permit Sonoma

Advance Assistance: Wildfire Adapted Sonoma County; Part II


Total project costs with approved NOI’s



CalOES Review

If the initial NOI is approved, the project’s scope and timeline are narrowed and the project advances to CalOES review. The following projects are currently in this stage:

CalOES Review



Project Name

Project Cost



Annapolis Road Yard and Volunteer Fire Station Generator




Forestville Road Yard Generator




Geyserville Drainage Feasibility Plan




Hardening of Wireless Communication Infrastructure




Rio Nido Culvert Installations to Reduce Flooding




Cavedale and Trinity Roads Fuels Reduction


Total project costs under CalOES review



FEMA Approval

After CalOES review, the application is then sent for FEMA’s review. The following projects are currently in this stage:

FEMA Review



Project Name

Project Cost


Permit Sonoma

Advance Assistance: Wildfire Adapted Sonoma County Phase 2




Bank Stabilization to Save River Road




Flood Elevation Program




Improved Flood Early Warning Using Advanced Radar



Permit Sonoma

Sonoma County Hazardous Fuels Reduction Treatment




Stabilize and Re-vegetate Hood Mountain


Total project costs under FEMA review




Occasionally a project is put on hold, pending additional funding. Permit Sonoma’s “Seismic Strengthening and Retrofit of Existing Structures - Sonoma Countywide,” in the amount of $6,777,777 has been waitlisted.



7.                     PRE-DISASTER MITIGATION (PDM)

PDM, like HMGP, is part of FEMA’s overall Hazard Mitigation Assistance program. Unlike HMGP, however, PDM provides funds on an annual basis for hazard mitigation planning and the implementation of mitigation projects. FEMA provides funding for measures to reduce or eliminate overall risk from natural hazards. The cost share for the PDM program is 75% federal with a 25% non-federal or County match.

The following projects are in various stages of FEMA approval and review in the PDM program:




Project Name





Potable Water after Earthquake



FEMA Review


Rio Nido Culvert Installations to Reduce Flooding *





Cavedale & Trinity Roads Fuels Reduction *



Approved NOI


Advance Assistance for Villa Grande Flood Mitigation Plan



*   These two projects are also being considered for funding in the HMGP program.



The PA grant is managed by the State under funding provided for in Section 406 of the Stafford Act. This funding provides discretionary authority to fund mitigation measures in conjunction with the repair of disaster-damaged facilities and is limited to declared counties and eligible damaged facilities. PA is applied on the parts of the facility that were damaged by the disaster and mitigation measures to reduce the potential of future, similar disaster damages to the eligible facility. The cost share is federal 75%, State 18.75% and County 6.25%.


The following projects have received PA funding:



Project Name






Culvert Improvements to Reduce Flooding (Drake Rd)






Landslide Stabilization to Save Westside Ave







CAL FIRE Funding

The Geyserville Fire Protection District, in conjunction with the Sonoma County Water Agency, received $540,212 in Cal Fire funding on May 30, 2019 for hazardous fuel reduction projects. Additionally, Permit Sonoma’s Fire Prevention Division worked with Pepperwood Preserve on their decision support system and fuels treatment CAL FIRE grant application and also provided letters of support for Fire Safe Sonoma grants for training of inspectors and community outreach materials.


Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR)

CDBG-DR funds are based on disaster impacts and address the long-term recovery needs of a community. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on April 10, 2018, that California would be receiving $212 million to support long-term disaster recovery through the CDBG-DR program, including $124 million for unmet recovery needs.


The State’s (HCD) HUD approved Action Plan includes a budget of $47.6 million for an owner-occupied housing program, $66.7 million for a multifamily housing program, $3.5 million for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance (PA) match program, and $6.2 million for administration. An additional $38 million was recently announced for unmet recovery needs.


Additional CDBG-DR funds were recently announced in February 2020, including $431 million for unmet infrastructure needs resulting from 2017 disasters. Of that amount, $38 million is allocated to California, specifically Sonoma and Ventura counties. The County is awaiting program guidelines from State HCD.


CDBG Mitigation (CDBG-MIT)

CDBG-MIT funds facilitate mitigation activities which increase resilience to disasters and decrease the impact of future disasters. The State of California has submitted an Action Plan to HUD, with notification/approval from HUD expected in Summer 2020. After HUD notification, the State will develop program guidelines for the $88 million in CDBG-MIT funding.


Prop 84 Wildfire Resiliency and Recovery Planning

Permit Sonoma received $187,000 in June 2020 to develop a comprehensive Sonoma County Forest Resources Ordinance, which will eventually be incorporated into the General Plan Safety Element.


10.                     Other Recovery Updates

Airport-Larkfield-Wikiup Sanitation Zone Larkfield Estates Collection System - Contract Award

On October 15, 2019, the Board approved the Project Manual and Drawings (“plans and specifications”) for the "Airport- Larkfield-Wikiup Sanitation Zone Larkfield Estates Collection System" and awarded a contract to Ranger Pipelines, Inc., in the amount of $3,727,868 to lead this project.


Entire neighborhoods were destroyed by the Sonoma Complex Fires in the Airport-Larkfield-Wikiup Sanitation Zone (Sanitation Zone). Many homes in the Larkfield area were connected to septic systems, and at the request of neighborhood property owners, the Sonoma County Water Agency (Sonoma Water), on behalf of the Sanitation Zone, developed a preliminary design of a sewer collection system to serve homes being rebuilt in the Larkfield Estates neighborhood, and is steadily advancing toward a completed design.


On June 5, 2018 the Board authorized Sonoma Water to enter into an agreement for a sewer collection system design in the Larkfield Estates community damaged by the Sonoma Complex Fires in the Sanitation Zone.


On February 5, 2019, the Board approved the Airport-Larkfield-Wikiup Sanitation Zone Larkfield Estates Collection System Project (Project). Immediately following project approval, the General Manager/Chief Engineer filed a Notice of Exemption in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the project. As part of the same item, the Board approved the financing program, which will offer low-cost financing to property owners in the fire-impacted area. Each property that chooses to connect to the sewer will be allocated a pro-rata share of the entire design and construction cost to be repaid over 30 years, with the first 10 years in a grace period. The Board also authorized the General Manager to execute agreements to acquire property rights needed for the Project. Subsequent to this approval, the Project design was revised to eliminate any need for acquisition of easements on private property. 


The contract was awarded to Ranger Pipelines on October 15, 2019 with the Notice to Proceed issued on December 2, 2019.  The initial excavation commenced on January 27, 2020.    Of the 146 parcels available to participate, 67 parcels have committed to connect to the sewer.   As of July 7, 2020, Phase I and Phase 2 of the three phase Project have already been completed, and, as a result, some property owners have already connected to the new sewer system.   The project is proceeding according to schedule, with final completion anticipated to be in September 2020.


2019 Winter Storms and Flooding Update Summary

On February 26, 2019, Sonoma County Supervisors declared a Local Emergency as powerful winter storms battered the county. On February 28, 2019, Governor Newsom declared a State of Emergency for Sonoma County. On April 13, 2019, Governor Newsom requested a Federal Major Disaster Declaration for the two atmospheric river storm systems that struck California in February 2019, including the County of Sonoma. 


On May 17, 2019, the President declared a Federal Disaster for the severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides for 16 counties in California, including Sonoma County, for the incident period of February 24 to March 1, 2019. This Federal Declaration allows for FEMA Public Assistance (PA) and FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP). 


1.                     FEMA Public Assistance - 2019 Late February Storms

On November 19, 2019, your Board received an update from the Disaster Finance Team regarding the status of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) claims from 2017 Floods and Fire and 2019 Floods.


This full Board item and supporting documents can be viewed at: <>


2.                     Funding Opportunities


A.                     Assistance Hazard Mitigation Grant Program: Notices of Intent (NOI) for the DR-4434 2019 Winter Storms and Floods Hazard Mitigation Grant Program were requested by CalOES by August 9, 2019. The Board was provided NOI information prior to submission, and Board members and Department leaders provided input. Currently four applications are under CalOES review, and five NOI’s have been approved.


B.                     Assistance for Businesses Impacted by Flood: The Economic Development Board continues to help local businesses impacted by the 2019 winter storms and floods to recover by providing support to access a number of loan programs and resources.


C.                     Assistance for Businesses Impacted by Flood: The Economic Development Board continues to help local businesses impacted by the 2019 winter storms and floods to recover by providing support to access a number of loan programs and resources.


Nor-Cal Financial Development Corporation

Nor-Cal Financial Development Corporation (FDC) is offering three loan opportunities for small businesses who incurred damages from the floods. Opportunities include:

                     Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program, which offers up to $1.25 million in loans to repair or replace property, inventory, supplies, and equipment, or to relocate the businesses. Interest rates for these loans are less than 9% and are negotiated with lender for up to 7-year terms. This is offered through a partnership with IBank.

                     Jump Start Loan Program, which offers up to $10,000 in quick microloans for small businesses to meet their obligations and pay their necessary operating expenses, as well as general start-up expenses. Interest rates are less than 9% with 5-year terms.

                     Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, which offers up to $20 million in loans with a maximum loan guarantee of $2.5 million or up to 80% of the loan with 0- to 7-year terms.


California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (iBank)

The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (iBank) is providing two loans. Opportunities include:

                     Industrial Development Bond Financing Program is available for all manufacturing or processing businesses and offers up to $1 million to $10 million in low-cost, low-interest loans for manufacturing companies to be used for land acquisition, building construction, building renovation, or equipment purchasing.

                     Farm Loan Program is available for owners or operators of family farms and vineyards who are otherwise unable to secure a loan without a guarantee. This program provides up to $1.4 million in low-interest loans for operation and production expenses, including repair or construction of buildings and storage facilities; purchase of equipment, livestock, seed, or fertilizer; soil and water conservation; or refinancing debt.


In addition, Working Solutions offers the North Bay Emergency Relief Loan Program, providing up to $50,000 in loans to pay for obligations and operating expenses, as well as replacement/repair of equipment, inventory, or property. Working Solutions is a certified nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that supports San Francisco Bay Area entrepreneurs to start and grow local businesses.


Since the floods, Nor-Cal FDC has helped connect four businesses with possible financing to be guaranteed by the state Disaster Loan Guarantee Program. Working Solutions is also assisting five businesses for possible direct loan assistance as well as giving existing loan clients a forbearance on their payments.


For additional information about loans and other resources for local businesses, go to <>


Prior Board Actions:

Regular Recovery Updates have been provided to your Board since November 2017.



Fiscal Summary


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Narrative Explanation of Fiscal Impacts:

 None. Information only.


Staffing Impacts:




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Narrative Explanation of Staffing Impacts (If Required):






Related Items “On File” with the Clerk of the Board: