Representative Tim Walz was in Mankato today touring Jack McGowan's farm, where new floodplain lines are drawing a line in the sand.
Walz was checking out the site of HistoryFest that has recently been designated as a floodplain.
Last summer, Jack McGowan was told by FEMA that several buildings on his decades old farm site stand in a newly mapped floodplain.
Jack McGowan says, "I do not believe that this will flood again in the next hundred years. I also don't believe a hundred years from now that any of these buildings will exist."
Nevertheless, he's been ordered by FEMA to install flood doors, demolish, or move eight of ten buildings further away from the river.
Representative Tim Walz believes McGowan's case should be looked at by FEMA separately.
Walz says, "What we've asked FEMA to do is to show some flexibility in the situation. It's not putting the public at risk, no one's living here permanently so the safety issue's not there, nor endangering people downstream. We're asking them to take a look at the individual case and try to work with both the county and the landowner to make it work."
Recently sending a suggested plan to FEMA, Blue Earth County got a response, but not an answer.
Walz says, "I think the county has done a really nice job of trying to find the flexibility. The thing was that when they submitted their plan to FEMA and said, 'Is this a good to go?', FEMA said, 'Nope, not good to go' and we really haven't heard why it's not good-to-go."
With three options given by FEMA one needs to be put in action by the first of 2014.
McGowan says, "We'll see what happens."
According to FEMA, if action is not taken on the eight structures it could eventually suspend Blue Earth County's enrollment in the National Flood Insurance Program.