In a pivotal move, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has initiated the process of revising Eddy County’s flood insurance rate map, marking the official commencement of the public comments and appeals period.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood maps serve as crucial tools, empowering communities with the knowledge of high-risk flood areas
This information is essential for devising effective strategies to mitigate flood risks and is a mandatory step for communities seeking participation in the National Flood Insurance Program, a program that extends flood insurance coverage to homes and businesses, including those in Eddy County. The impending modifications to the flood insurance rate map have the potential to influence insurance rates for flood-prone areas. Moreover, these maps guide mortgage lenders in determining insurance requirements and aid governments in establishing building code standards.
Throughout this year, Eddy County commissioners have engaged in multiple discussions with The Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives to propel the process of updating the county’s flood map, last revised in 2017. Employing advanced technologies such as LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) and other data sources, The Federal Emergency Management Agency crafts flood maps, designating zones based on the natural flow of water. For instance, Zone A signifies areas at a “high risk” of flooding.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s current 2017 map designates regions flanking the James River, including sections of 5th Avenue North in New Rockford and homes on River Drive, as Zone A. Properties within these high-risk zones, financed by government-backed lenders, necessitate flood insurance as a loan condition.
The new flood map for Eddy County has been created and released, with the finalization slated for the summer of 2024
Residents now have a 90-day window, from December 18, 2023, to March 17, 2024, to provide comments or appeals. Eddy County Emergency Manager and Floodplain Coordinator, Lisa Thompson, clarified that the mapping updates primarily focus on New Rockford and the adjacent areas. Notably, she anticipates minimal impact on the majority of Eddy County residents from these map revisions.
While the revised flood map primarily addresses areas south of New Rockford, proximity to the railroad tracks and baseball diamond, rather than the Sheyenne or James Rivers, indicates potential flood risks arising from heavy rainfall or spring snowmelt.
Despite Thompson’s expectation of limited impact, interested parties are encouraged to review the preliminary map during the comment period to ensure comprehensive community involvement in the mapping process.