Hoeven, Heitkamp: FEMA Approves Fargo's NFIP Basement Exception Request

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp today announced that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate has approved the City of Fargo’s application for the basement exception in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The delegation wrote a letter of support in December pressing Fugate to approve the request.

The city has been granted the basement exception since 1975. FEMA, however, has redrawn the floodplain following recent flood fights, and the new map went into effect on January 15, 2015. Consequently, the city had to reapply for the exception to be included. FEMA indicated there would be no additional requirements and that homeowners in Fargo and the surrounding area who applied will received letters of approval from the Regional offices. Officials said they are working to get the letters out next week.

In the letter the delegation wrote:

“The City of Fargo has successfully implemented the basement exception in the NFIP for close to 40 years, updating regularly and in a timely manner what elevations should be required for flood-proof basements. City officials have proactively addressed the potential flooding issues in the city in order to minimize the risk of damage to the homes, and FEMA’s approval will ensure that the city can continue this practice in to the future. 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.”