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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued a Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) related to the FM Area Diversion Project.

The CLOMR outlines how the FM Area Diversion Project will, if built as proposed, meet the minimum National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements. This would warrant future changes to the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for area communities. The CLOMR also reduces uncertainty for upstream landowners as it defines how property is, or is not, impacted due to the project.

“A FEMA CLOMR is a significant project milestone that not only helps makes our community safer and homes more affordable by reducing future flood insurance premiums, it also helps identify the proper mitigation for property owners upstream,” Fargo Mayor and Chair of the Diversion Authority Tim Mahoney said. “We know this is a large, expensive project, but as we are seeing around the country, the cost of flooding can be devastating. We cannot continue to rely on sandbags and other emergency measures for flood protection.”

The Diversion Authority, working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, asked FEMA for a CLOMR in October of 2016. Prior to issuing the CLOMR, FEMA reviewed the project and its impacts on the floodplain to ensure it is compliant with NFIP requirements. This included a technical review of the hydraulic model used to design the project and to determine impacts and associated mitigation.

“Floodplain mapping and insurance requirements are a concern for homeowners and businesses in Moorhead,” Moorhead Mayor and vice chair of the Board Del Rae Williams said. “I’m glad FEMA recognizes the protection this project will provide.”

CLOMRs do not change the flood insurance rates or mandatory purchase requirements for property owners based on the current effective FIRMs. Once the project is completed, a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) will be submitted to FEMA to revise the effective FIRM.

“There is not an intention to update the FIRMs until the proposed project is complete,” the agency stated. As the Federal project is implemented FEMA, USACE and the Diversion Authority will continue to coordinate to ensure that any changes are properly accounted for and that all mitigation requirements are met.

FEMA released a frequently asked question sheet about the CLOMR. It is available, along with other educational documents, at www.fmdiversion.gov/clomr.