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Posted on: May 9, 2018

FEMA flood risk maps changing

Homeowners in the Souris River valley will get more than a year before a federal flood insurance mandate takes effect thanks to City leadership and its partners.

The City of Minot, its consultants, and Ward County have successfully lobbied Federal Emergency Management Agency to revise flood risk maps for the Minot area. The proposed maps would have required all properties with federally backed mortgages in the flood inundation area to carry flood insurance, adding a financial burden to many homeowners in the valley. Now, that burden has been delayed.

City Manager Tom Barry updated the Minot City Council at its May 7 meeting on the potential map changes. Barry said FEMA will issue new, updated maps for the Souris River basin.

“This is great news for Minot and its residents,” Barry said. “This will result in improved and more accurate maps and provide more time for implementation. It also allows the City more time to earn Community Rating System points, which will help lower flood insurance premiums for our residents.”

Barry said the new timeline shows that the preliminary maps will be released in December 2018, which will be followed by a 90-day appeal window and additional time to provide comments on the appeals before a final determination letter is released in September 2019. The new maps likely won’t be implemented until at least March 2020. The original risk maps were to be released in the summer of 2018.

“This buys us time to get closer to flood protection.” Barry reiterated. “The longer we can hold off the changes to these maps the closer we are to protecting our citizens and removing them from risk entirely.”

But Barry reminded residents that there is still flood risk in Minot despite the delayed release and they should purchase flood insurance if they are located within the flood risk areas.

“The map delay affects just the mandate for having flood insurance, but the risk to homeowners in the flood zones still exists,” he said.

Information provided to the Council on May 7 showed that the preliminary updated maps would remove 597 structures from the flood zone, while putting 118 structures into the flood zone that weren’t previously in the flood zone. In total, the preliminary change would reduce the number of impacted structures from 1,372 to 893, a reduction of 35%.

Watch City Manager Barry's presentation to the council:


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