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The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood risk maps for Minot and Ward County would become effective in February 2021 under a new timeline discussed at a recent Minot City Council meeting.
City Manager Tom Barry outlined the new timeline during the Aug. 5 council meeting:
-November 2019: Revised maps issued
-February 2020: Appeals period begins
-July 2020: Appeals will be addressed
-August 2020: Letter of final determination
-February 2021: New maps take effect
The City of Minot and Ward County challenged the initial maps proposed by FEMA on several technical merits and operational measures, and the federal agency agreed to take another look at the maps.
After revisiting the maps, FEMA agreed to make several revisions, which delayed the implementation of the new maps by about a year. Under the changes, the floodway was modified and expanded in areas where the city and county owned property, and the floodway on private properties and other areas was reduced the floodway.
But, Barry told council members, FEMA didn’t change the hydrology, so the regulatory floodplain remained largely the same.
The city has for years been urging residents within the flood plain to buy flood insurance now and not let it laps. Having an existing policy will limit the rate increases that will happen once the new flood risk maps go into effect. City Engineer Lance Meyer told residents at a town hall meeting in May that a preferred flood insurance policy could have a premium around $500 a year. When FEMA’s new maps take effect, residents with existing policies are locked into that rate, with yearly increases of no more than 18 percent.