Officials in North Dakota say it's time for property owners in flood-prone areas of the Red River Valley to think about buying flood insurance.
The state Water Commission has scheduled flood preparation meetings next week in Fargo, Grand Forks and Jamestown that will focus on insuring homes and other structures. The last time the state held similar sessions was in 2016. Federal officials will also be on hand to answer questions.
The push comes as early signs suggest a heightened risk of flooding this spring. The National Weather Service says precipitation totals for the fall and winter period in the Red River Valley Basin are the wettest on record.
Homeowners who live in areas deemed by federal officials to be at high risk for flooding are required to purchase insurance. Water Commission spokeswoman Dionne Haynes says homeowners outside of the official flood plain should also consider insuring their property.
Haynes says the average flood insurance policy in North Dakota is about $700. Residents in low to moderate risk areas will pay about $200 less, she said.
The weather service is scheduled to release its first flood outlook of the season on Friday.