FEMA recognizes EGF dike system
East Grand Forks property owners who must now buy flood insurance can expect to stop doing so Jan. 2. That's the date the Federal Emergency Management Agency's revised floodplain map goes into effect, according to a letter the agency sent Mayor L...
East Grand Forks property owners who must now buy flood insurance can expect to stop doing so Jan. 2.
That's the date the Federal Emergency Management Agency's revised floodplain map goes into effect, according to a letter the agency sent Mayor Lynn Stauss last week. The map recognizes the protection the city's by-then completed dikes offer.
City Council President Dick Grassel said the potential savings for property owners citywide could exceed $3 million. The city alone, he said, would save more than $50,000.
That amount, however, already has been accounted for in the budget, so the city isn't expecting a windfall.
Council Vice President Henry Tweten said the economic impact of not having to pay would be vast. Churches, schools, businesses, homeowners all stand to save, he said.
Property owners still would have the option of buying flood insurance, but being protected by dikes means the rates will be much lower.
Unlike Grand Forks, most of East Grand Forks was underwater at the time of the 1997 flood, so the floodplain map that decides who has to buy insurance and who doesn't have to affected the East Side more. Grand Forks' dike system, however, was completed earlier, and property owners there were allowed to stop paying for flood insurance Aug. 2.
East Grand Forks' dikes almost are all functionally complete except for an area on the Point, where the soil proved less stable than engineers originally estimated.
Construction crews now are fixing the problem and should be done in a few weeks, according to assistant city engineer Brad Bail. "We're on track."
The dike system, including Grand Forks, cost local, state and federal governments $417 million. It protects the cities from a 210-year flood, equivalent to the 1997 flood. Construction began in August 2001.
Tran reports on City Hall. Reach him at (701) 780-1248 or firstname.lastname@example.org or see his blog at www.areavoices.com/gfhcitybeat .