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City Engineer Lance Meyer updated the City Council on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) during a presentation at the Jan. 21 meeting.
On June 9, 2017, the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued the FIRMs, which were reviewed by the City of Minot. City officials presented a number of concerns to FEMA, which said it would take the city’s concerns into consideration. That delayed the map implementation by more than a year, Meyer said.
FEMA has now released a new FIRM. Meyer said the notice of the new maps will be published in the Federal Register in the next four to eight weeks. Once they are published, the City’s 90-day appeal window begins. Following the appeal period and after addressing all comments and appeals, the final FIRMs will be prepared. The new FIRMs will become effective seven to 10 months later.
Meyer said the new maps are likely to be adopted in early 2021.
“The big takeaway is, while we may have a reduced flood risk this spring, which is good, we encourage people to buy flood insurance,” Meyer said. “Talk to your flood insurance agent. If you have a question about whether you’re in the high risk zone, call us. We’d be happy to help answer that question.”
Meyer said if residents purchase and maintain flood insurance before the new FIRM becomes effective, they will be grandfathered in to lower policy rates when the maps become effective. Over time, the policy rates will increase, but at a slower rate compared to not being grandfathered. If you don’t have flood insurance when the new FIRMs become effective but are required to purchase it, the price will be significantly higher, he said.