Hoeven, Heitkamp Call on FEMA to Approve Fargo Basement Exception

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp today called on Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate to approve the City of Fargo’s application for the basement exception in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The city has been granted the basement exception since 1975. FEMA, however, has redrawn the floodplain following recent flood fights, and the new map will go into effect on January 15, 2015. Consequently, the city must reapply for the exception to be included.

In a letter to Fugate, the delegation wrote:

“Basements are an important part of the homes of Fargo residents. They serve as shelters during severe weather, and they have been effectively flood-proofed to reduce damage to the home. The construction methods of basements have allowed Fargo’s residents to have access to reliable shelter that is both affordable to construct and insure. The residents of Fargo have made long-term investments in their homes by making sure that their basements are protected from significant flood damage. These flood-proof basements have been an effective part of reducing risk of damage to the property due to flooding.

“The City of Fargo has successfully implemented the basement exception in the NFIP for close to 40 years. Fargo has continually updated what elevations should be required for flood-proof basements in order to minimize the risk of damage to the homes. The City of Fargo has proactively addressed the potential flooding issues in the past, and renewing Fargo’s basement exception will help to continue this practice in to the future.”