Floodplain Management


If any area of a Township could conceivably suffer flood damage, the Township must adopt and enforce zoning ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA and State requirements to reduce the risk of property damage from flooding. Failure to adopt and enforce required ordinances will result in FEMA denial of claims on national flood insurance policies, even if all premiums for flood insurance have been paid.

Townships may enter a joint-powers agreement with the county to allow the county flood plain management authority for the township. That agreement must be in writing.

The following information is from the ND Department of Water Resources website:


Floodplain Management and the National Flood Insurance Program


North Dakota has a long history of flood-related challenges, and it has become even more common over the last two decades. One way to reduce the potential negative impacts of flooding is to have effective state and community floodplain management programs in place.

Floodplain management regulates development within the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) to ensure communities are more resistant to flood damage. The frameworks for building standards and minimum requirements follow those of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP, which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), was created to help provide a means for property owners in participating communities to financially protect themselves. In exchange, those participating communities agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA and State requirements to reduce the risk of flooding.

North Dakota NFIP Stats

North Dakota Flood Insurance Stats

Building in the Floodplain

For questions regarding development requirements, Letters of Map Change, flood insurance, or locating a structure on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), please contact us or your local Floodplain Administrators.

Please keep in mind that a floodplain development permit must be obtained from the local Floodplain Administrator before any work may be started in a SFHA.

Risk MAP and other Risk Information

Risk MAP was initiated in 2009 for the purpose of identifying, assessing, communicating, and mitigating flood hazard risks, with the goals of delivering quality data that will increase public awareness and lead to actions that will reduce the risk to life and property.

ND Local Officials Toolkit

ND Risk Assessment Map Service (NDRAM)

North Dakota Risk Assessment MapService (NDRAM) allows users to zoom in and visually display current flood risks, both approximate floodplains from BLE and effective regulatory floodplains from FEMA’s NFIP. This new tool also provides users with water surface elevations, flood depths, and the ability to download engineering model data and print customized maps making it useful for planning, mitigation, and disaster recovery actions.

The Base Level Engineering (BLE) data is a FEMA Non-Regulatory product that is meant to provide additional information beyond those products that appear on a FEMA Regulatory Flood Insurance Rate Map. The BLE production approach combines high-resolution ground elevation data, and modeling technology advancements to create engineering models and flood hazard data. These analyses are produced at a large scale as opposed to targeting individual stream reaches. The flood hazard information prepared is based off engineering models that determine base flood elevations, water depth, and water velocity along each stream reach studied.

NDRAM Tutorial Video

ND Risk Assessment MapService (NDRAM)

NDRAM Fact Sheet/BLE Stats

Program Rules

North Dakota Century Code - Link to 61-16.2 "Floodplain Management"

Federal Regulations - Title 44 Code, Part 59

Floodplain Management Applications

Application for the State Engineer's Floodway Review (SFN 61171)

Floodway "No-Rise" Certificate (SFN 61173)


Additional Resources

Mapping and Technical Resources

Map Service Center – Locate a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Online


Flood Smart

Flood Insurance 101

Agent Disaster Briefing

Floodplain Management Resources

Floodplain Management Quick Guide In North Dakota

Substantial Damage Quick Reference

Letter of Map Change (FEMA forms)


Disaster and Recovery

North Dakota Department Of Emergency Services


FEMA Community Status Book

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

FEMA Information Resource Library

Association of State Floodplain Managers


For more information on Construction Permits, please contact the Regulatory Division at (701) 328-4956 or e-mail.