County commission revisits flood insurance


The flood along the Yellowstone River caused more than 50 families to be evacuated from their homes and more than 100 people to be displaced.

More than a week later many of them are still waiting to back into their homes to assess the damage.

“There is still water standing there. There is probably ten feet of water in fields rights now,” said Tim Cayko, Yellowstone resident.

When KX News was in Fairview on Saturday one of the residents we talked to who was able to back into his house said his basement was destroyed, and he was wondering where the money was going to come from to pay for the flood damage to his house.

He like others we talked to didn’t have flood insurance.

“I checked my own policy, and there was no flood insurance available for these people because they weren’t in a flood plain,” said Cayko.

McKenzie County’s flood plains have not been mapped by FEMA in recent years, so the county hasn’t been able to take part in the department’s Floodplain Mangement program, so residents can be eligible for flood insurance.

However, in past years the county commission has been reluctant to adopt the program.

“If we choose to go forward with this there is some trade-off,” said Jeff Shaffer, McKenzie County Water Resource director.

Anyone who chooses to become part of the federal program has to follow the strict regulations that go along with it.

Like building codes, safety standards, and overall property rights.

“Maybe even give up the rights of your ownership in some respects,” said Cayko.

With the recent event, the emergency manager and the water resource district director want the county commission to revisit the idea of entering the program.

The pair brought up on Tuesday at the McKenzie County Commission meeting.

“Nobody ever expects a flood like this. They have flooded a little bit in the past but nothing at all like now,” said Karolin Jappe, McKenzie County emergency manager.

However, Cayako who was in attendance for the meeting knows how he feels about it.

“The regulations . . . I don’t want them”.

The county commission and the emergency manager want to hold some public meetings with residents once the waters recede, and they are able to get back into their homes.

Jappe said the cities of Watford, Arnegard, and Alexander in Mckenzie County have been mapped by FEMA because they are incorporated cities.

A local bank in Watford told KX news flood insurance for a $300,000 home can go for about $1,500 every year.





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