New FEMA Preliminary Flood Maps
by Kiersten Cooley, KVRR Reporter
August 20, 2012
By next summer more than 2,000 Fargo property owners may not only be fighting floods, but also costly flood insurance requirements.
A new preliminary floodplain map released by FEMA and Fargo officials is expanding it city's current 100–year floodplain by almost 8,000 acres, meaning every property falling within those lines must be protected.
It's been more than a decade since Fargo's floodplain map has seen updates but a new preliminary plan released by FEMA shows big changes coming.
Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker said, “The best thing we can do for our children and our grand children is to provide protection for our community.”
Fargo officials released FEMA's updated preliminary map for the city's floodplain, currently at 38.4 feet but increasing to 39.4 feet.
The current map includes 19,700 acres and about 500 properties.
But the new proposal expands the coverage to 27,600 acres and includes 2,300 structures.
“I'm not as depressed as I thought I would be, because I thought we were going to be pushing 3,000 homes,” Walaker said.
But there are 4,000 to 5,000 additional properties currently sitting within 25 feet of the new boundaries that may end up requiring flood insurance, all pending map adoption slated for next summer.
Fargo City Engineer April Walaker said, “Upon adoption, that is the point when flood insurance will become mandatory if you are brought into new the floodplain.”
Under FEMA's grandfather rules, the average property owner who is eligible for a preferred risk flood protection policy will pay roughly $400 a year, but after the first two years this cost will jump to about $1,500.
“I know what flood insurance is. After the two years the process and price go up significantly,” Walaker said.
So city officials hope to have some flood priority projects completed before those high rates take effect.
“We’ve taken a plan and we’ve broken it into a series of phases to try to get the most hang for the buck and see where we could provide protection to the most amount of people in the next three to four years,” Walker said.
But in the meantime, if your property falls within the new floodplain, the best thing to do is contact your insurance agent.
For more information, you can attend public meetings September 11th at Davies High School or September 12th at Fargo Civic Center. Both run from 6:00-9:00 PM.
You can also click here for more information and the new preliminary map.