U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp yesterday announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has given green light to the Valley City, ND, to keep and maintain its floodwall.
The decision from FEMA is a result of a fix Heitkamp wrote and successfully included in the funding bill Congress passed last month that allowed Valley City to keep in place the existing floodwall.
Heitkamp’s provision followed a meeting she held on March 10 with the Valley City mayor, commissioners, and other local officials involved in flood protection efforts during which she updated them about her efforts to try to include her provision in the funding bill.
The flood fights in Valley City during the 2009 and 2011 floods – the first and second worst floods in the city’s history – cost $19 million, of which $16 million was state and federal funds and $3 million was local funds.
Following those floods, the city has been working to put in place permanent flood protection to keep the city and residents protected and reduce costs.
This first phase of the project where a combination of a floodwall and levee were constructed to protect the university area, which includes 79 homes and seven businesses with a combined value of $49 million, is where the FEMA deed restricted lot in question is located.
According to the official statement, this part of the city’s comprehensive flood protection effort was completed in 2016 and the city took great care to avoid three other FEMA deed restricted lots in developing and constructing the project.