The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s twice-extended temporary housing program to accommodate Minot, N.D., area residents left homeless by a historic Souris River flood has come to a close after two years and three months.
FEMA brought in 2,052 mobile homes to address a housing shortage following the June 2011 flood that swamped 4,100 homes and other structures in Minot and Ward County. The program was extended in the fall of 2012 and again in June, though people who remained in the homes after Jan. 1 were required to pay rent.
FEMA said in a recent statement that all those housed under the temporary program have secured permanent homes and that it will close its local housing office within the next few weeks. The housing mission, which officially ended Tuesday, had employed about 100 people there at its peak.
“It’s a big success story for us,” Dan Alexander, federal disaster recovery coordinator for the region, told the Minot Daily News.
Some homeowners bought their temporary homes from FEMA, and some of them are still living in the homes while they fix their permanent homes. A committee formed by the City Council voted Wednesday to allow two dozen owners to keep the FEMA units in city limits another eight months.
“Most of the people here don’t have the money to just run out and buy a piece of land and go up on the hill and say, `OK, now if a flood comes we’re protected and there will be no more of this,”‘ said Herbert Mosher, according to KXMC-TV.
Committee Chairman Dave Lehner said the extension to June 1, 2014, will be the last.
“We’re going to set a date in the future, and instead of drawing a line in the sand, we’re going to draw a line and construct a brick wall along that line on that date,” Lehner said.
The 2011 flooding was caused by heavy spring snowmelt and rains. FEMA also provided more than $90 million to Souris Valley residents to repair flood-damaged properties and pay rent while those repairs took place.
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