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Published July 09, 2012, 08:38 PM

Halstad begins process of re-certifying levees

Halstad, MN (WDAY TV) - Several small cities in Norman County are going to have to get their flood protection re-certified by FEMA because the county is redoing its flood maps. Halstad, Minnesota is beginning the process.

Halstad, MN (WDAY TV) -- Several small cities in Norman County are going to have to get their flood protection re-certified by FEMA because the county is redoing its flood maps. Halstad, Minnesota is beginning the process.

It's a picturesque scene on the west side of Halstad, Minnesota - a big difference form the spring of 2011. In recent floods Halstad has faired well, it's levee protecting the city to 44 feet.

John Hinkley - Owner Valley Hardware: "We have had some people move in from the country to town because they know hey we haven't gotten wet in the past forever."

Now, that levee that has served so well for nearly 40 years needs to be re-certified by FEMA.

Kevin Ruud - Wild Rice Watershed District: "If it isn't certified and you have federally backed loans which is pretty much all loans on houses and so forth, you are required to carry the flood insurance."

John Hinkley is taking an inventory at Valley Hardware, and he's hoping the certification will lead to more customers.

John Hinkley: "We have free lots in town where we want to bring people, but if you've got to buy flood insurance then you're not any more attractive than the next town."

A couple of people that we talked to in town that didn't want to go on camera said that they were concerned about the quality of the dike. So much so that they said that if the dike is re-certified they're still going to buy flood insurance.

Kevin Ruud: "That's been a good dike. It's been there since the late 70's, it was constructed for the second time to its current height. They do a fine job of maintaining it to the corps' standards."

John Hinkley: "They're hoping it's just a formality. You've got a pretty good strong base. Do we need to change it? Hopefully we'll go with what we've got."

With the levee certification just underway, it will be some months before we know whether this flood tested dike will need any more TLC.

The watershed district and the state of Minnesota will split the cost of the levee certification.

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