Hoeven: FEMA Nominee Commits to Work Toward Affordable Flood Insurance for North Dakotans

Senator Advancing Efforts to Ensure Flood Maps Account for Flood Protection across the State

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week met with Brock Long, nominee to head the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and pressed the nominee to ensure the agency’s flood maps are updated to reflect flood protection as it is built. This will help keep flood insurance rates affordable for the state’s residents, especially in places like Minot and the Red River Valley, where protections will be built over several years.

“We need to make sure that flood insurance is coordinated with our efforts to build permanent flood protection in Minot, Fargo and around the state,” Hoeven said. “For instance, we are taking a phased approach to flood protection in the Souris River Basin, which allows the community to break down this comprehensive project into manageable pieces that can be built in a more timely fashion. FEMA’s flood mapping schedule and flood insurance rates should take into account when those protections are in place. That will keep insurance affordable for our citizens. Mr. Long understands our concerns and has committed to work with us on this issue.”

Hoeven previously hosted Roy Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation at FEMA, in Minot and Fargo to review the agency’s flood mapping efforts and ensure affordable flood insurance for the regions.

This week’s meeting is part of Hoeven’s ongoing efforts to secure comprehensive flood protection for the Red River Valley, Minot and the surrounding areas. The senator wrote and secured the language in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 appropriations bill that authorized the construction start for Fargo and the new study for Minot, which the Army Corps subsequently included in its FY2016 work plan. 

Last month, Hoeven announced that the Corps’ FY2017 work plan includes $20 million for comprehensive flood protection in theFargo-Moorhead region and $900,000 to support its feasibility study in the Souris River Basin. Hoeven also recently met with Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), during his confirmation process to stress the importance of flood protection for communities in North Dakota. OMB is responsible for approving Army Corps work plans, and Hoeven has stayed in regular contact with Mulvaney since his confirmation. 

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Energy and Water, Hoeven is working to secure additional funding for these regional flood protection efforts.