Frequently Asked Flood Questions
Can I still continue to put flood-related debris on the curb?
No. The City's FEMA-approved contractor is not hauling flood-related debris away from City curbs. This contract expired late last Fall.
Is there a fee for hauling flood-related debris to the landfill?
No. If you bring your water bill with you from the City of Minot, there is no charge.
I want to volunteer. Who can I call to get more information?
Please call RSVP+ at 701-822-3700
I still need volunteers to help clean-up my home. Who can I call?
Please call RSVP+ at 701-822-3700
Is there a local number for FEMA or SBA?
No, please call: FEMA 1-800-621-3362
: SBA 1-800-659-2955
Where can I go to inquire about flood insurance?
Call your local agent or go to http://floodsmart.gov
Where can I go to get information about the Minot Area Recovery Fund?
Visit www.centerforcommunitygiving.com or call 701-852-0646.
Who can I call to get information about demolition and acquisitions?
701-858-8040 - The office of Swanson & Warcup, Ltd.
What are good websites to keep updated with the newest information?
Is there anyone I can call for emotional or spiritual support?
Yes. The FirstLink 2-1-1 hotline is available 24 hours a day to provide listening, support and referrals to nonprofit human services. To access this, please call 211, or 701-235-7335. Another resource is the Christian Care Line. This is a 24 hour hotline to provide people faith-based emotional support and someone to listen. To reach them, call 701-204-4672.
What is the RAFT program?
RAFT stands for the Resources Agency Flood Team. They provide long-term case management to applicants and assists people with programs they may qualify for. You can fill out an application by going to www.minotnd.org, or visiting their offices at Lutheran Social Services or Vincent United Methodist Church. Deadline for registration is October 31, 2011. You can reach them at 1-800-950-2901.
When are the next long-term recovery meetings?
Minot - Thursday, October 13 - Jim Hill Middle School, 1000 6th St SW, Minot
Combined Area - Saturday, October 15 - Jim Hill Middle School, 1000 6th St SW, Minot
Burlington - Tuesday, October 18 - Burlington-Des Lacs Elementary School, Burlington
Where can I find information and requirements for self electrical wiring?
Click here to view our Information and Requirements for Self Wiring document.
When is the City going to start buying out homes in the valley?
The City is already in the process of doing voluntary property acquisitions with up to 108 homeowners. These were identified in late 2011/early 2012, separate from any enhanced flood protection plan, and chosen by the City as ones they would like to acquire to provide flood mitigation benefit as well as access and open space for emergency flood protection. Of these properties, 84 homeowners have signed a purchase agreement with the City. Minot is currently in the process of going through the appropriate federal environmental assessments, state requirements (including from the State Historical Society of North Dakota), abstract preparations and other steps to ensure a clean title. These property acquisitions started in late September 2012 and the City anticipates finishing these acquisitions in early 2013. As for properties that are currently under the “footprint” of the enhanced flood protection plan that was supported by the Minot City Council in April, the City is still working to secure the funding partners needed to push forward with property acquisitions. At this time, there is no firm timeline available for when these property acquisitions will take place. A request is in the Governor’s Budget for $61 million from the 2013 State Legislature that would make a second round of voluntary property acquisitions a reality. These acquisitions would be made to homes within the footprint of the enhanced flood protection plan. The process of formulating guidelines, policies and procedures related to this round of acquisitions is currently under way.
What is currently being done by the Corps of Engineers to help the City?
This summer, the Corps of Engineers made the City aware of a preliminary study related to flood risk reduction plans for the Mouse River Basin. The Corps indicated they are working to find funding to do a reconnaissance study (the next level of study) to determine whether or not raising Lake Darling Dam and/or increasing target flows related to releases of water from dams along the Mouse River would help in protecting the region against future floods similar to the 2011 flood. It is unknown when this study will be finished, although it is anticipated that the study will take no more than a year, if/when the project begins.
How much help has FEMA provided in our flood recovery efforts?
The City of Minot has requested reimbursement from FEMA for federal funding on approximately ten million dollars of repairs. Of this, the City has received approximately 80 percent or eight million dollars in reimbursement. The City is continuing to work with FEMA and the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services for reimbursement on the denied portion of the funds. These were for FEMA-eligible flood recovery projects that included sanitary sewer lift station repairs, water well cleaning and mold remediation, pedestrian bridge repairs and other activities. A key effort made by FEMA last year, that has continued through 2012, is the direct housing mission where roughly $40 million was spent to prepare multiple locations for FEMA Temporary Housing Units (THUs). Approximately 700 families/individuals in Ward County (as of the end of 2012) are living in a FEMA THU. As well, FEMA provided nearly $90 million in the valley to individuals for rental assistance or home repairs in the form of individual grants. Additional information about FEMA’s involvement in the flood recovery process in the Mouse River Valley can be found online at www.minotrecoveryinfo.com/news.
Excluding CDBG-DR funding, where can a homeowner go for rebuild assistance?
There are a number of non-profit organizations in the region who have various amounts of funding that a person might be able to apply for. The Souris Valley Long Term Recovery Committee secured a state-funded Housing Rehabilitation and Retention grant, with the average individual grant paying out approximately $4,600. These grants are for those who owned and plan on living in their rebuilt flooded home. You can find an application form online at www.svunitedway.com or by stopping by the Souris Valley united Way office in downtown Minot at 15 2nd Avenue SW.
What are the next steps on the enhanced flood protection plan?
The City of Minot, through the Souris River Joint Water Resources Board, requested that the ND State Water Commission continue to work with the same engineering team who presented the first plan to look at a phased approach. This approach would include phasing in the proposed project and exploring the option of an enhanced flood protection plan that protects the City for flows between 10,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) water flow and 15,000 cfs. This would allow other partners (Canadians, International Souris River Board, U.S. Corps of Engineers, etc.) to work on potential changes to water management that would provide additional protection against a flood similar to what occurred in 2011. The engineering team working on a phased-in design of an enhanced flood protection plan anticipates that they will have this ready near the beginning of 2013.
Does the City have a list of qualified contractors that can work on my property?
The City does require those companies with certain construction skills to maintain a license with the City of Minot. This includes those who are working with concrete/excavating, plumbing, electrical, or gas/heating. A list of those contractors that have a current license for this work can be found on the Minot Recovery Information website, www.minotrecoveryinfo.com/progress.
Where can I view flood protection plan maps?
The website, Mouse River Plan, can still be viewed at www.mouseriverplan.com. All the maps, explanations and documents associated with the February 29, 2012 Preliminary Engineering Report can be viewed at this website or by visiting the Minot Public Library at 516 2nd Ave. SW.
Where is the CDBG-DR money coming from?
The CDBG-DR funding for the City of Minot totals just over $67.5 million and was allocated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as appropriated by the U.S. Congress.
What is the money supposed to be used for?
HUD guidelines say that the funds are designed “to address a wide range of unique community development needs.” As stated on the HUD website, “CDBG-DR funds must supplement, not replace, other sources of federal disaster recovery assistance.” As indicated by HUD, the CDBG-DR funds can go toward disaster recovery activities including housing, economic development and infrastructure.
What rules, requirements or stipulations come along with these federal dollars?
The funds for CDBG-DR still have to meet national objectives as laid out by HUD. These are to 1. Eliminate blight or slums, 2. Meet an urgent need, or 3. Address a need for the low- to moderate-income earner. As indicated by HUD, “at least 50 percent of each CDBG-DR grant must be expended on activities that principally benefit low- and moderate-income persons.” HUD requirements do not allow the City of Minot to provide individual cash payments directly to homeowners. HUD has also told City staff that the CDBG-DR funds are not to be used as an expense reimbursement for homeowners who have already completed rehabilitation or reconstruction to their homes. Other rules and guidelines need to be followed by the City of Minot including recognizing duplication of benefits and only disbursing funds where an unmet need can currently be identified.
City Council approved an Action Plan, what projects are part of this plan?
With affordable housing a top priority for City leaders, the proposed Action Plan for use of CDBG-DR funds supports the following ideas directed to homeowner housing: o Acquisition for affordable housing development. The City will seek to purchase 50 vacant lots to develop affordable housing, $8.5 million. o Acquisition of flooded properties. The City will use CDBG-DR funds as a match for North Dakota State Water Commission funds intended to buy flooded properties that may be used for green space or flood access/control, $4.8 million. o Demolition of flooded properties. The City will use CDBG-DR funds as a match for North Dakota State Water Commission funds intended to demolish flooded properties that may be used for green space or flood access/control, $2.2 million o Rehabilitation of flooded properties. For those homeowners that meet LMI levels, approximately 70 households will be assisted with repair funds, $5 million. o Reconstruction of flooded properties. For those homeowners that meet LMI levels, approximately 60+ households will be assisted with reconstruction of their homes if they are not able to rehabilitate, $10.5 million. o Northern Housing Development infrastructure. The City will provide infrastructure for a new housing development outside the flood area with 51 percent affordable housing, $5.1 million. As well, recognizing that not all those impacted by the flood were homeowners, the City proposes using funds that will benefit rental housing: o Minot Place Townhomes tax credit rental units’ infrastructure. The City would assist developing 30 LMI rental units in southeast Minot, $410,800. o “Imagine Downtown” downtown development. Support for the development of approximately 54 LMI rental units in downtown Minot, $5.5 million. Since a variety of key infrastructure and public facilities were impacted during the 2011 Mouse River flood, the City would apply CDBG-DR funds and leverage dollars from other sources, like the North Dakota Trust Lands Department, to make needed repairs and upgrades. These would impact sanitary sewer lift stations throughout the City, a landfill expansion, a northern sewer project development and a fire station to serve new housing developments. These infrastructure projects have a total cost of $20.45 million.
What are the next steps before this money can be used by the City of Minot?
The City received approval from HUD in late August 2012. Some of the money is already being used by the City toward the projects approved in the Action Plan.
When can I start to apply for one of these programs and how do I do so?
Those interested in one of these programs can contact the Minot Disaster Recovery Services Office at 837-5813 or visit during normal business hours at their location inside the Arrowhead Mall, suite 27.
Once I have applied for funding assistance how long will it take?
The City must follow all the federal requirements for use of these funds. Basically, there are three stages in the assistance process. First, you must be determined eligible and have information regarding your household income and any benefits received (i.e., FEMA, SBA, insurance, etc.) verified; second, damages must be assessed for your home and a scope of work developed and bid for construction; and third, your actual grant award must be determined (factoring in any assistance already received and repairs to be made to your home) and construction contracts signed. After these steps are completed, construction can begin on your home.
I was identified as part of the initial round of voluntary property acquisitions...
The City of Minot has closed on two-thirds of homes that accepted an offer from the initial round of voluntary property acquisitions tied to the 2011 Mouse River flood. Of the 108 offers made by the City earlier this year, 84 property owners accepted a voluntary purchase offer and (as of the middle of December 2012) 57 have been closed or are scheduled to be closed. The City anticipates closing on the remaining 27 properties in the upcoming weeks. Of the properties that remain to be purchased, some have asked to close after the first of the year while others are still pending approval on receipts for eligible repairs or clear titles. By purchasing these homes, the City will be better able to fight any future flooding that may occur prior to finishing an enhanced flood protection plan. The access and open space for emergency flood protection is sorely needed. The City is currently in the process of determining guidelines, policies and procedures that will apply to future rounds of voluntary property acquisitions. It is anticipated that the City will secure additional state funds in 2013 that can be used toward another round of voluntary acquisitions. A funding request is in the Governor’s Budget for $61 million toward the Mouse River Flood Protection Project from the 2013 State Legislature that would make additional voluntary property acquisitions a reality.
What steps have to be taken prior to the City purchasing a home that was flooded?
Part of the funding attached to the purchase of these homes is coming from the federal government, specifically the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In the process of purchasing these homes, the City of Minot is bound by the guidelines, rules and regulations attached to the dollars, as deemed by HUD. One of the key steps that has taken the City longer than expected is the environmental assessments required by HUD. This includes both a broad review and an individual review of each home that the City would like to purchase. Another component of the review process that has to take place deals with the North Dakota State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). This office deals with the historical preservation of properties. In order to receive their approval on the appropriate acquisition of flood-impacted properties the City has had to provide appropriate information, such as age of the property, for their review.
When is the City going to start buying out 'footprint' homeowners?
As it currently stands, the City of Minot does not have the financial means necessary to do voluntary property acquisitions for all of the more than 250+ homes identified as “under the footprint” of an enhanced flood protection plan. The City in the past year has worked with the North Dakota State Water Commission (NDSWC) to secure a portion of the funding to do some voluntary property acquisitions of homes that were identified as needing to be purchased regardless of any future flood protection plan. These are the 108 homes identified in late 2011/early 2012. The City anticipates being able to secure additional funding from the NDSWC in upcoming years to do additional voluntary property acquisitions. A request is in the Governor’s Budget for $61 million from the 2013 State Legislature that would make a second round of voluntary property acquisitions a reality. These acquisitions would be made to homes within the footprint of the enhanced flood protection plan. The process of formulating guidelines, policies and procedures related to this round of acquisitions is currently under way. The City of Minot worked with FEMA to secure what are called Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funds to do additional voluntary property acquisitions. These funds require the City to prove, using a complicated benefit cost analysis (BCA), that it is “worth” it for the federal government to fund the purchase of specific flood-damaged homes. FEMA has indicated that, as of now, few to none of the homes impacted by the flood will qualify for HMGP funding for home acquisitions. As well, the City of Minot plans on using a percentage of the Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds to aid in reconstructing or purchasing flood-damaged homes. For more information on the many proposed programs for housing assistance under the CDBG-DR Action Plan, go to the Minot Recovery Information website, www.minotrecoveryinfo.com.
How do I know if I am someone that the City might consider buying out?
The Mouse River Plan website has the engineering teams’ Preliminary Engineering Report that includes the proposed footprint for an enhanced flood protection plan. You can visit the site at www.mouseriverplan.com and click on any of the maps included on the site.
What are the rules on duplication of benefits?
Yes, the money that is put into your home by another disaster-assistance source will be deducted from your property offer in the case of a voluntary property acquisition. The exception to this rule is for homeowners that can verify with receipts that actual eligible repairs to the home were made with loans, repair grants or other compensation (no credit will be given for the homeowners own labor for repair work). With the City of Minot paying homeowners their pre-flood value of the home plus 15% based on assessed property values, the City is essentially paying for fair market value. Based on this, any funds received that compensate the homeowner for damages are considered to be a duplication of benefits. In other words, through the VPA process the City paid for the damages and then some other source (FEMA, SBA, insurance, etc.) also paid for damages to the home. The amount of the duplicated assistance will be deducted from the offer for the property so that the homeowner is not paid a second time for compensation already received from another source.
Don't see an answer to your question? Please submit your question with the following form and we'll make sure it gets addressed.