Minot to appeal FEMA RISK maps update

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MINOT, N.D. - Earlier this week the Minot City Council decided to appeal the FEMA risk maps dictating what areas should be considered flood zones.

"Are we at risk for anything else other than the cost for the appeal,” asked alderman Mark Jantzer.

“I just think that its money that we are going to have to spend it's in the best interest of the community," said alderman Shannon Straight.

City leaders debated the pros and cons of appealing the FEMA Risk maps.

"If we are successful in an appeal, just that lowering of that base flood elevation, for when folks within the flood plain have to have their policies rated that could translate into thousands of dollars in savings," said city engineer Lance Meyer.

The maps proposed by FEMA would change the status of more than three thousand homes in the magic city from low-risk zones also known as x zones to high-risk zones also called AE zones.

"When you fall into those high-risk zones there comes a trigger for mandated flood insurance, so if you fall into one of these high-risk zones and you have a mortgage on your home, you will be required by law to carry the flood insurance," said Miranda Schuler, an insurance agent in Minot.

Some city leaders say the appeal could save the city and homeowners thousands of dollars, even if it's denied later down the road.

"If we only have a one year delay we would still see saving in my estimation," said Minot Mayor Shaun Sipma.

The city has nearly 90 days to appeal the decision. It will cost roughly $250,000 to start the process.

"It's going to be quite an undertaking. It is reconstructing all the engineering the maps, the studies that they have done, over the last seven years in 90 days,” said Meyer.

FEMA plans to have the new rates effective by Feb. 1.

You can learn where your home falls in the proposed FEMA maps by visiting the city's website.