NO! The Fargo Moorhead Dam and FM Diversion WILL NOT remove $19 million in flood insurance premiums for Fargo or the Metro area.
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) creates flood risk maps that lending institutions may use to interpret flood risk on any given property description. Properties are assigned a “risk zone” which is used to calculate insurance premiums.
Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker, Fargo city administrator Pat Zavoral and other city officials have disseminated misleading information regarding flood insurance requirements in the Fargo Moorhead Metro Area.
May 19, 2012: the Fargo Forum erroneously publicized:
“Metrowide certification means
thousands of Fargo-Moorhead residents
will no longer be required to buy flood insurance.”
Residents of High-Risk Areas
“Homes and buildings in high-risk flood areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to have flood insurance.”
What constitutes a “High-Risk Area?”
High-risk areas, are defined as having at least a
1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage.
The proposed 100 (42.5′) and 500 (46.7′) year flood elevations that are being altered by the USACE, Diversion Authority and city officials places more structures and property owners in High-Risk areas.
The construction of the $2+ billion dollar Fargo Moorhead Dam and FM Diversion will not remove flood insurance requirements for properties with federally regulated or insured lenders. Additionally, FloodSmart.gov indicates that: “A lender can require flood insurance, even if it is not federally required.” Lending institutions want a reasonable assurance that the property they are underwriting can be recovered financially, should a major flood event inundate the property.
In the wake of widespread property damage in Minot, ND (2011) after flood insurance requirements had been relaxed, leaving many property owners with no coverage for losses sustained, the proposed Fargo Moorhead Dam and FM Diversion may not be sufficient to remove flood insurance requirements.
Monday, March 9th, 2009
Dave Kyner – FEMA Flood Insurance Specialist
Insurance News Net
One of the big misconceptions about flood insurance, said Dave Kyner, a flood insurance specialist with FEMA, is that “people don’t need flood insurance. That FEMA, if there is a disaster, will come in and take care of us.”
“That’s partially true,” Kyner said. “That is, if the president declares the disaster an official one. And then, aside from not-cheap Small Business Administration loans, the only help that might come through FEMA is individual assistance, that tops out at $30,000, he said.”
“And $30,000 isn’t much when you take into account that your home is your biggest investment,” Kyner said.
“A lot of people had flood insurance in West Fargo but dropped it because of the Sheyenne River Diversion Project,” Kyner said. “They figured they would be safe. But they weren’t safe from the 17 inches of rain that came down. My point is it floods everywhere. A 60-foot dike can’t protect you if it rains 17 inches on the wrong side of the dike.”
What this means for property owners in the Fargo Moorhead metro area, is that they may be required to purchase flood insurance protection as well as pay special assessments and additional sales taxes as a result of the Fargo Moorhead Dam and FM Diversion.
Currently, Fargo’s economic expansion is altering the adjacent natural flood plain and relocating flood waters into areas previously not prone to flooding. Fargo’s actions may bring about flood insurance requirements to property owners that have not been required to purchase flood insurance in the past.
The recent remapping, appeal and pending Cass County FEMA flood report was done at the request of Fargo and the local flood plain administrator to accommodate development plans within the natural flood plain adjacent to Fargo.