Hoeven Hosts FEMA Head in Minot, Presses for Affordable Flood Insurance Rates

Senator Continues Work to Build Permanent Flood Protections

MINOT, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today hosted Roy Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation at the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for a meeting and tour of local flood protection projects with local and county officials in Minot. Hoeven oversees FEMA’s budget as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Homeland Security. The senator organized the meeting to review FEMA’s flood mapping efforts and to press the agency to align flood mapping efforts with the region’s permanent flood protection project and the work that has already been completed. The senator is working to ensure that flood insurance rates are affordable for homeowners and account for flood protections being put in place.

“We arranged this meeting so FEMA officials hear straight from our local leaders about the progress we’re making to rebuild the Minot region and protect this community going forward,” said Hoeven. “FEMA needs to work with the city and county to ensure that hazard mitigation and flood insurance programs work effectively as we build permanent flood protections. Our residents need to have affordable flood insurance rates and be kept up to date on FEMA’s flood mapping efforts.”

Today’s events are part of the senator’s continuing work to help the Minot region rebuild and better protect itself from flooding. The senator has been working on several fronts, including:

Federal Funds

To date, Minot and Ward County have received more than $650 million in grants, loans and direct assistance. On Friday, Hoeven announced a nearly $6 million grant to the City of Minot to protect the water treatment plant and keep it functioning in the event of a flood. This grant is the second installment of federal funds for phase two of the project. It will be used to build two road closures – log structures which, in the event of a flood, close the gap in a levee which is created by a road running through the levee – and more than 1,700 feet of concrete floodwall with tie-back levees on each end – tying the project into high ground. In May, the senator announced the first installment of funding for the project’s second phase, which will help build a floodwall and other infrastructure around the plant.

New Start Approval for Minot Flood Study        

Last month, Hoeven pressed U.S. Army Corps of Engineer officials to move forward in a timely manner on comprehensive flood protection for the Souris River Valley. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the senator worked to grant the Corps permission to start new studies for permanent flood protection projects in the Fiscal Year 2016 Energy and Water appropriations bill. This new start approval is vital for communities like Minot to develop and build comprehensive flood protection. 

National Disaster Resilience Competition

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that the City of Minot was selected for the second and final round of the National Disaster Resilience Competition (NDRC). Last year, Hoeven met with Minot city and Ward County officials to brief them about the NDRC and wrote a letter of support for the city’s application to the national competition. The NDRC was created as part of HUD’s Community Development Blog Grant Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) Program, and Hoeven worked to ensure Minot would be eligible for the program.