The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 24, 2014

Spike in flood insurance premiums hits Roseau hard

(Continued)

But they were lucky, finding their dream home three miles outside of town on higher ground above the flood plain — a log house on a big lot where deer like to roam that's right on the Roseau River.

"Everything happens for a reason," Ost said.

Their real estate agent, Bob Brellenthin, said many families have been priced out of the market.

"I've had three deals blow up, to the tune of quite a bit of commissions that we did not receive, because we could not finalize the deal," he said.

Roseau is pinning its hopes on two things. First is the change to the 2012 law that Obama signed last week. It rolls back the instant increases, capping them at 18 percent annually for most homes.

More important is a flood diversion project due for completion in fall 2015. Flood insurance requirements will be eliminated for nearly the entire city once FEMA certifies the finished work, said Todd Peterson, Roseau's community development coordinator. But that could take another year, he said.

Relief could come sooner for Crookston, a city of about 7,900 on the Red Lake River, which recently completed its levee system. Once FEMA signs off, only about a dozen homes will be subject to the higher rates, city building official Matt Johnson said.

But Crookston real estate agent Shirley Iverson said the high premiums came as a "total surprise" to a lot of longtime owners who want to sell now and remain stuck, at a competitive disadvantage against homes outside the flood plain, she said.

Except for the premium phase-in, no relief is in sight for the southwestern city of Worthington, where 158 homes and businesses will see higher bills. A flood control plan for the city of nearly 13,000 is still in the planning stages and could cost $5 million.

City Engineer Dwayne Haffield said about 10 percent of its homes sit in a shallow depression that doesn't drain well, so they're at risk of basement flooding from heavy rain. The premium spike has made it harder to sell houses in that area, he said, and those costs are being reflected in lower property values.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • 8,000 get false notice of health care cancellation ST. PAUL — More than 8,000 low-income Minnesotans received erroneous notices that their health coverage would be temporarily canceled if they don't pay up. A July 17 notice warned MinnesotaCare subscribers that they faced a four-month coverage locko

    July 28, 2014

  • ND deputy hurt in scuffle Suspect charged with assaulting, trying to disarm law officer

    July 28, 2014

  • Fergus Falls plans deer hunt Hunters are selected by a lottery, pay $20 fee

    July 28, 2014

  • Man killed in home invasion Homeowner's son in Ray, Minn., fires fatal shot

    July 28, 2014

  • Charges filed in July 8 fatal Dodge Center woman criminally charged in fatal car crash

    July 28, 2014

  • American doctor in Africa gets treatment for Ebola BOONE, N.C. (AP) — An American doctor infected with the deadly Ebola disease received intensive treatment Sunday in West Africa and was in stable condition, talking to his medical team and working on his computer, a spokeswoman for an aid group said.

    July 27, 2014

  • Salmonella Outbreak Trial [Duplicate] Trial in salmonella outbreak to start in Georgia ATLANTA (AP) — Three people accused of scheming to manufacture and ship salmonella-tainted peanuts that killed nine people, sickened more than 700 and prompted one of the largest food recalls in history are set to go to trial this week in south Georg

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pitfalls emerge in health insurance renewals WASHINGTON — For the 8 million people who persevered through all the technical travails in the new health insurance exchanges and managed to sign up for coverage in 2014, their policies will probably automatically renew come November when open enroll

    July 27, 2014

  • Hamas agrees to 24-hour holiday truce in Gaza war GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas on Sunday agreed to observe a 24-hour truce in Gaza after initially rejecting a similar Israeli offer, as fighting resumed and the two sides wrangled over the terms of a lull that international diplomats had hoped c

    July 27, 2014

  • Solar car race to end at University of Minnesota MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A cross-country solar car race is set to finish at the University of Minnesota on Monday. About 10 solar cars from colleges around the world are competing in the eight-day, 1,700-mile American Solar Challenge. The race began July

    July 27, 2014