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The Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to re-evaluate its previous findings related to new floodplain maps after a successful appeal by the City of Minot.
Because of the appeal, FEMA and North Dakota Department of Water Resources officials indicated revised preliminary floodplain maps will likely be issued in the summer of 2023. The City of Minot will have the opportunity to comment and, potentially, issue another appeal on the revised maps at some point in the fall of 2023. FEMA officials indicated the earliest the new maps would become effective is the fall of 2024. Flood insurance rate increases due to map changes will not occur until the new maps are effective.
“We are very satisfied that FEMA is reconsidering their previous work and will be considering the accurate operational rules of all of the reservoirs on the system above Minot,” Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma said. “Our valley residents have been through enough economic turmoil in the last decade, so it’s encouraging that FEMA is listening to our concerns that their results would have placed an undue economic burden on the residents of Minot.”
In October 2020, the City of Minot submitted an appeal identifying deficiencies with FEMA’s previous work. Of particular concern to the City were the assumptions used within FEMA’s analysis related to the operation of flood control reservoirs on the Mouse River system. Minot officials met with representatives from FEMA and the DWR last week to hear results of the appeal regarding FEMA’s proposed Flood Insurance Study for Ward County.
“We had serious concerns that FEMA’s analysis did not consider the full storage that was purchased by the United States in Rafferty and Grant Devine reservoirs,” City Engineer Lance Meyer said. “Additionally, their assumptions arbitrarily limited the amount of flood storage available in Lake Darling. As a result, we believe their results are overestimating the flood discharge that is used to determine the regulatory floodplain and flood insurance rates which will be paid by Minot property owners in the valley.”