North Dakota Unveils New Mapping Tool for Flood Risks

November 4, 2019

The North Dakota Water Commission unveiled a new interactive mapping tool that provides residents and community leaders with information on potential flood risks.

It shows where flooding might occur and to what extent it could happen in various scenarios, Laura Horner, the state risk map coordinator, said of the map.

The North Dakota Risk Assessment Mapservice was on display Wednesday at the Bismarck Event Center, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

The tool is intended to help people make informed decisions about flood protection and provide resources to community leaders who want to keep citizens safe.

Horner noted that the flood risk in places with large populations such as Fargo, Grand Forks and Bismarck tends to be well-mapped already, but that’s not always true for rural areas.

Grand Forks Mayor Michael Brown said the interactive map seems like a useful service and could help residents know whether to buy flood insurance.

“When you need it, it’s the best money you’ll spend,” Brown said. “Your home is the biggest investment you’ll have.”

It uses base level engineering that combines elevation data with advancements in modeling technology.

The map allows users to toggle between the new base level engineering data and the standard flood insurance rate map data. People can search a specific address or zoom in on a general area to get a closer look at the flooding risk. They can also access water surface elevations and flood depth information, download the data, as well as print customized maps and overlay weather information.

The state partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for this project that took three years to develop.

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