ND Delegation Urges FEMA to Abandon or Delay Proposed Flood Map for Bismarck

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer and Congressman Kelly Armstrong called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to abandon or delay its implementation of a new Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for the City of Bismarck. The delegation pointed to the outsized impact the proposed map would have on the community’s low-income residents, particularly in the southern portion of the city, where the region’s primary homeless shelter and a permanent supportive housing facility are located. The delegation also made the case that the city should be given the time to complete its ongoing flood mitigation efforts prior to the map being finalized.

“Proceeding with the current timeline will have a negative impact on Bismarck’s most vulnerable populations,” wrote the delegation. “The City of Bismarck has made great strides in flood mitigation and has plans to complete additional flood mitigation improvements that will benefit all the people of the city, including those living in South Bismarck… Providing the City an opportunity to implement these flood mitigation improvements will give the community their best chance at enhanced flood protection without increased household costs, and we therefore urge you to allow these improvements to be made prior to the preliminary FIRM changes taking effect.”

The letter comes as a follow-up to a recent meeting that Hoeven held in Bismarck with city, county and federal authorities to prepare for potential spring flooding in Burleigh and Morton counties. The senator convened the meeting to help ensure coordination across all levels of government in order to protect homes and businesses. The full text of the delegation’s letter can be found here.