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Benny Polacca, Published March 05 2009

FEMA: Flood maps coming in June

Area residents attending a flood preparedness meeting Wednesday night in Fargo had flood plain maps on their minds.

Federal Emergency Management Agency spokesman Jerry DeFelice told them new 100-year flood plain maps expected to be released in June will be preliminary.

“It will be a good year before the final map is set,” he said.

The public meeting attended by about 100 people comes in the wake of a National Weather Service flood outlook report that predicts flooding conditions this spring in the Red River Valley and Devils Lake, N.D., regions.

More informational sessions are planned.

The National Weather Service in Grand Forks, N.D., reported Friday that the Red River has a 60 percent chance of rising above 35.1 feet at Fargo and a 10 percent chance it will rise above 38.5 feet.

Officials asked residents to consider buying flood insurance, which is in effect for one year. Dave Kyner, a FEMA flood insurance specialist, said time is short because there is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect.

Kyner said residents can file an appeal if they have concerns about their property being in the flood plain when the map update is finished. He said property owners would need to provide scientific proof of their concerns if the appeal process is initiated.

According to the National Flood Insurance Program Web site, a residential home could sustain $7,800 in damages if a 2-inch flood occurs. The damage amount jumps to more than $26,000 if the flood level is 18 inches.

DeFelice said there will be another informational meeting on flooding preparedness today in Grand Forks.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Benny Polacca at (701) 241-5504