Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer and Congressman Kelly Armstrong this week pressed Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials to grant the City of Minot’s appeal of FEMA’s preliminary flood insurance rate map for the City of Minot and Ward County. In a letter to FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor, the delegation urged FEMA to work with local stakeholders to ensure that the flood map accurately reflects the flood risk, and to accept Minot’s appeal.

“Accurate flood insurance rate maps are critical in making localities aware of areas that are at higher risk of flooding so that proper steps can be taken to mitigate future flooding disasters. In this instance, the City of Minot has determined through its review that FEMA’s current flood insurance rate map does not accurately represent flooding risks to Minot residents. If the current maps are not modified, a typical, actuarial rate for flood insurance will increase from $500 per year to $5,000 per year…We urge you to work with local stakeholders throughout the appeal process and accept their appeal so that the flood insurance rate map accurately reflects the flood risk in Minot, North Dakota and Ward County,” the delegation wrote.

In June 2017, FEMA issued its preliminary flood insurance rate maps for the City of Minot and Ward County. The preliminary flood insurance rate maps identified 10,000 cubic feet per second as the 100-year flood level, which is twice the flow that had previously been considered a 100-year flood event. The City’s appeal is based off revised hydrology and hydraulics, and argues that the drawdown of Canadian dams and historical Souris River management would result in a 100-year event that would not be greater than 8,000 cubic feet per second, rather than FEMA’s proposed 10,000 cubic feet per second.