Regulatory Program: Floodplain Management

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 the 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

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

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.

Active Risk MAP projects

  • Bowman County
  • Pembina County
  • Upper James River – Eddy, Foster, Stutsman, and Wells Counties
  • Ward County
  • Western Cass County
  • Williams County

Completed Risk MAP Projects

  • Barnes County
  • Benson County
  • Bottineau County
  • Bowman County
  • Burleigh County
  • Grand Forks County
  • Hettinger County
  • McKenzie County
  • McHenry County
  • McLean County
  • Mercer County
  • Morton County
  • Nelson County
  • Pembina County
  • Ramsey County
  • Ransom County
  • Richland County
  • Rolette County
  • Slope County
  • Stark County
  • Stutsman County
  • Traill County
  • Walsh County

Program Rules

North Dakota Century Code 61-16.2

Title 44 Code of Federal Regulations, 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

North Dakota Risk Assessment MapService (NDRAM) – North Dakota Base Level Engineering (BLE) Data


Flood Smart

Floodplain Management Resources

Floodplain Management Quick Guide In North Dakota
Substantial Improvement/Substantial Damage Desk Reference
MT-1 Form
MT-2 Form
MT-EZ Link

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

Local Links: Ground Truths for Floodplain Professionals and Community Officials


For more information on floodplain management, please contact:

Laura Horner, CFM, Mapping Coordinator (701) 328-2759 or e-mail.

Dionne Haynes, CFM, State NFIP Coordinator, (701) 328-4961 or e-mail.

North Dakota Floodplain Administrators