Hoeven: FEMA to Grant Extension on Removing Drayton Levee

Senator’s Legislation Will Make the Levee Part of Permanent Flood Control Project

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that, at his request, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would grant a request from Drayton for a six month extension before the city must remove an earthen levee built on land acquired through the Hazard Mitigation Program. Hoeven spoke with Roy Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation at FEMA, who agreed to work with the senator and the city to secure the extension.

Meanwhile, as chairman of the Department of Homeland Securities (DHS) Appropriations Committee, the senator has included legislation that will authorize FEMA to allow Drayton and other cities to retain levees permanently as long as the “construction constitutes part of a flood control project, is constructed of naturally-occurring materials, and conforms to other criteria as established by FEMA policy.”

“I’ve spoken with FEMA and I think we’ll be able to get a temporary extension to keep the levee in Drayton,” Hoeven said. “In the meantime, I have legislation moving – it’s already been through the Appropriations Committee – which would allow us to keep levees permanently on land acquired with federal funds as long as it’s part of a flood protection plan. That will not only help us in Drayton, but also in other places like Fargo. I hope to get that legislation passed by year end and address the issue permanently.”

“Finding a common sense solution so that Drayton’s levees can remain in place has proven to be a major challenge,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said. “We thank Sen. Hoeven for his commitment to helping us find a path forward, and we will continue to work with the senator, the city and other stakeholders to arrive at an acceptable outcome.”

The properties in question were acquired through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMPG) as part of the 1997 flood disaster that affected the Grand Forks region.