Officials discuss area flood maps
Changes to the flood insurance rate map for Spiritwood Lake were presented at a community coordination meeting Thursday night. The changes to the flood insurance rate map are not final. It is still pending a 90-day-appeal period, finalization of ...
Changes to the flood insurance rate map for Spiritwood Lake were presented at a community coordination meeting Thursday night.
The changes to the flood insurance rate map are not final. It is still pending a 90-day-appeal period, finalization of map products and six-month adoption period, said Barb Fitzpatrick, senior flood plan specialist National Flood Insurance Program with Federal Emergency Management Agency Region 8.
If the new map, which would reflect reduced lake elevation levels, is finalized in 2011, residents who finance their homes in Spiritwood Lake may not be required to purchase mandatory flood insurance, said Shirly Krapp, Spiritwood Lake city auditor.
Fitzpatrick encourages area residents to check with the city to see if they would qualify.
The entire map for Stutsman County has now been digitalized but only Spiritwood Lake was updated, Fitzpatrick said.
The reason it was updated was because Spiritwood Lake now has a water outlet and lake levels have dropped about 3 feet, Krapp said.
For a study to be done to change Jamestown's flood insurance rate map, studies by FEMA, the Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation would need to be conducted on what type of flows are going into Jamestown Reservoir and what would be comfortable and maximum levels for release rates, said Reed Schwartzkopf, Jamestown city engineer.
Combined releases from Jamestown and Pipestem reservoirs reached a peak of 3,200 cubic feet per second this spring during a record-setting high water event.
The proposed changes to Spiritwood Lake's flood insurance rate map would bring it up to date to before the spring 2009 floods, said Jerry Bergquist, Stutsman County emergency manager.
The current map in Spiritwood Lake has not been updated since the 1980s, Krapp said.
First a study needs to be done and a scooping meeting is held, said Gregg Thielman, vice president and project manager with Houston Engineering Inc., the group that conducted the study on Spiritwood Lake. After that meeting, data is produced, the preliminary report is released and the appeal period follows. Once any appeals are resolved, there is a six-month adoption period, he said.
Schwartzkopf said it could take 5 to 25 years before there are changes to Jamestown's flood insurance rate map.
"We have only begun the process of this river study," he said.
In Jamestown the flood insurance rate map would become wider and would require more people to purchase flood insurance, Schwartzkopf said.
In a nationwide average, homeowners have a 26 percent chance of being damaged by a flood during the course of a 30-year mortgage. One-third of all claims paid by the NFIP last year were policies in low-risk communities, Thielman said.
Stutsman County is in the process of joining the NFIP, Bergquist said.
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