Rice Lake Residents Turn Down FEMA

For years, homes surrounding Rice Lake have been swallowed up by rising water.

In 2015, FEMA adopted a program that would allow homeowners to raise their properties and pay only a portion of the price.

But many residents who applied have now left the program.

Bob and Marlene Hargrave have two homes – one in Minot and this one at Rice Lake which they consider their primary home. In 2010, their home started flooding from the basement.

“We’ve built dikes and 3 times we’ve raised our dike to keep it from coming over land but it’s coming from underneath,” said Bob and Marlene Hargrave, Rice Lake Residents.

In 2015, when FEMA offered a program that would move their home out of the flood plain they applied. The first time they applied they were not accepted but the second time they were. Engineers estimated the cost of the whole project would be about $141,000 and Bob says he would only have had to pay 30% of that amount. But when the final FEMA bid came in – it wasn’t what they expected.

“When the designs came in and the bids came in our place was just about 470,000 dollars and at that point it wasn’t a feasible project to do,” said the Hargrave’s.

The issue has been brought to the Ward County Commissioners who said there isn’t much that they can do to help.

“We can always volunteer to spend more money but there again we’re trying to cut the budget as much as we can and not raise it on the taxpayers,” said Jim Rostad, Ward County Commission Vice Chairman.

Now, the Hargraves have declined FEMA’s offer and will do the work themselves. They plan on tearing down their house and rebuilding.

“I think we can say we feel relieved,” said The Hargrave’s.

“It’s just something that didn’t work out as we’d like to have seen it work out,” said Rostad.

Originally 10 residents inquired about the program but as of today, nine of the ten have backed out due to the high costs.

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