• Post category:News

FM Area Diversion Project Receives FEMA Conditional Letter of Map Revision

(Sept. 9, 2020) – 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, if built as proposed, will meet the minimum National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements. This will help define the future changes to the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) for area communities once the Project is completed and accredited by FEMA. The CLOMR also comes with approval of the hydraulic model that is used to define how property is, or is not, impacted due to the project. This reduces the uncertainty for landowners upstream of the Project.

“Having a FEMA CLOMR is a significant project milestone and will help make homes more affordable by reducing future flood insurance premiums and ensuring protection for critical infrastructure within the city. A CLOMR also helps identify the proper mitigation for property owners upstream,” Fargo Mayor and Chair of the Diversion Authority Tim Mahoney said.

Prior to issuing the CLOMR, FEMA comprehensively 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 and property acquisition requirements.

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

A CLOMR does not change the flood insurance rates or the mandatory purchase requirements for property owners as they will continue to be 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. An approved LOMR changes the flood insurance rates and purchase requirements.

“There is not an intention to update the FIRMs until the proposed Project is complete,” FEMA has previously stated. As the Project is built, FEMA, USACE, State Agencies, and the Diversion Authority will continue to coordinate to ensure that any changes are properly accounted for and that all mitigation and property acquisition requirements are met.

The Diversion Authority will reach out to property owners upstream of the Project in the coming weeks with individualized information about how the Project will impact their property. The information will include maps specific to each impacted parcel, introduction to the agencies responsible for property acquisition, and a description of the mitigation programs that are available to impacted properties.

Additional correspondence will come from the Cass County Joint Water Resource District (CCJWRD) in North Dakota and the Moorhead Clay County Joint Powers Agreement (MCCJPA) in Minnesota, who have been designated as the agencies responsible for acquiring the property needed to implement the Project.
FEMA released a frequently asked question sheet about a CLOMR. It is available, along with other educational documents, at www.fmdiversion.gov/clomr.

The following is a press release from Sen. John Hoeven


Senator Urged FEMA Region 8 Administrator to Issue CLOMR, Key Step in Protecting Local Families & Businesses from Significant Flood Insurance Costs
FARGO, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved Fargo-Moorhead’s request for a Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR), stating that the region’s flood protection project meets the requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Hoeven recently spoke with FEMA Region 8 Administrator Lee dePalo, urging for the letter to be issued. This represents an important step toward ensuring that more than 11,000 structures won’t be placed in the 100-year flood plain when the region is re-mapped by FEMA, which would require the purchase of flood insurance for properties with a federally-backed mortgage and impose significant costs on local families and businesses.

“This is a key step in building comprehensive flood protection in the Red River Valley,” Hoeven said. “We worked with FEMA to get this decision in place, as it recognizes the benefits of the project that is currently under construction and helps protect the region’s residents from having their homes and businesses being re-mapped into the flood plain. That represents a substantial savings for our communities and helps keep the project’s Plan B on track.”

The decision comes as the latest in Hoeven’s efforts to reduce local costs and ensure adequate funding to keep construction moving forward. This includes:

Funding the Army Corps’ construction account above the president’s budget request to help ensure the project is included in the Army Corps’ annual work plan.
Hoeven’s efforts helped result in $100 million being included for the project’s construction in the Corps’ Fiscal Year 2020 work plan.
This helps to fulfill the federal government’s increased funding commitment, which Hoeven helped secure under the new Project Partnership Agreement (PPA).
Advancing Fargo-Moorhead’s application for a $561 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan, which will serve as a low-cost, flexible funding source.

The following is a press release from Sen. Kevin Cramer

Sen. Cramer: FEMA Approves FM Diversion Conditional Letter of Map Revision for ND

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife, announced today the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Conditional Letter of Map Revision for the North Dakota piece of the project.

“This is the first step in certifying protection from a 100-year event,” said Senator Cramer. “I am glad to see progress being made on this important project and look forward to working with the proper federal agencies to ensure it continues through to completion.”

According to FEMA, the Conditional Letter of Map Revision is the agency’s comment on a proposed project which impacts the hydrologic or hydraulic characteristics of a flooding source. Once the Diversion project is complete, they will ask FEMA to certify it with this now-approved plan. Learn more here.