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The city of Bismarck is constructing a new flood risk map and pursuing other initiatives to reduce the city’s flood danger



Bismarck, North Dakota – The yearly Flood Mitigation Progress Report for 2024 was produced by the City of Bismarck.

There is still work to be done, according to city engineers and building officials, to guarantee the lowest risk.

The first effort, according to Brady Blaskowski of the City of Bismarck, is updating the map of flood risk.

To review the current map, the State Water Commission is working with FEMA and Burleigh County.

According to him, the updated map will be finished in June of this year.

“A resource like that is important because it will show residents the flood risk to their properties. They’ll be able to get flood insurance through the national flood insurance program,” said City of Bismarck building official Brady Blaskowski.

The second project is a design for the Wachter Drainage Channel and South Washington Street Closure area’s further flood protection.

According to city engineer Gabe Schell, certain Bismarck residents who live close to the Missouri River may be at greater danger of flooding as a result of the new maps.

Though he claims they are costly, he says they have begun to design solutions to lessen floods.
Fortunately, he reports that FEMA has pledged $50 million.

However according to Schell, the City will require a total of roughly $80-$120 million to effectively prevent flooding.

“Until we have a full funding package available, it’s probably premature to say this is going to be a project that will happen. But it’s a project that definitely has a lot of legs at this point in time because with FEMA supplying the first $50 million, it’s definitely more manageable for us to consider how to find the other $30-$60 million. Those are big numbers, regardless. Hopefully, the state and we as the city can find a way to package that,” said Schell.

The primary project, according to Schell, is the south Bismarck drainage ditch; however, he notes that it may necessitate additional work in other locations upstream.