By Velena Jones

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Dozens of Sacramento County homeowners are getting new views in an effort to help fight flooding.

CBS13 spoke with residents about how they are spending money to save even more in the long run.

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You have to look up to find Jill and Michael Steinbacher’s Walnut Grove home now floating 12 feet above the ground.

“It’s been really exciting to see it going up,” Jill said.

“They had this up in 2 days,” Michael added.

Just yards away from the Sacramento River, they are one of the hundreds of county homeowners at risk of flooding. FEMA is fronting 75% of the cost to raise their home out of danger.

“One, it gets us out of the flood plain. Two, it allows us to do home renovations due to the fact since we were in the flood plane, you couldn’t do more than 50% renovations without having the house raised,” Michael said.

Repeated flooding throughout the years has left homes saturated with damages, most recently in Wilton and Point Pleasant during 2017.

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“It was a big wake-up call,” said George Booth, a county civil engineer. “When your house floods, you think, ‘Boy, I could flood next time it rains,’ and that is not a way to live.”

Booth said 1,000 county homes should consider raising their foundation, partially paid by the $2.6 million FEMA grant.

In 2021, they already have 100 homes approved for renovations – which will bring yearly savings.

“There are people who are paying in excess of $5,000 a year for flood insurance and once they raise their home, it will be more in the order of $500,” Booth said.

Homes hoisted in the sky are given a new foundation, but the extra space can’t be used for just anything.

“You are not to use it for bedrooms, but people can use it for a pingpong table, a rec room,” a contractor said.

Contractors said the minimum 2 months process inspires them, knowing they are helping lift homeowners out of danger.

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The county says raising homes also helps save taxpayers money in the long run because FEMA would have to pay much more to fix homes that could be damaged in future floods.

Velena Jones