Fargo Moorhead Diversion

Flooding Threatens Buildings in Fargo

The Fargo Moorhead Diversion

The Diversion would protect 1 in 5 of all North Dakotans.

The Fargo Moorhead Metropolitan area is prone to flooding. Flood fighting efforts cost the region millions of dollars. If these emergency flood fighting efforts were overwhelmed, the results would be catastrophic.

The Fargo-Moorhead (FM) Area Diversion Project will establish permanent flood protection measures for the region. The current plan includes a 20,000 cubic feet per second, 36-mile long, 1,500 foot-wide diversion channel with 32,500 acres of upstream staging. Read more about why the Diversion is needed.


Breaking News

Diversion Authority Continues Construction on OHB Levees to Restore Certainty and Sustainability to Residents

Several questions have arisen about why construction is underway on the Oxbow-Hickson-Bakke Levee project, even though the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has not yet completed an Environmental Impact Statement study on the entire Diversion Project.

OHB Levees Have No Impact to Minnesota

The Oxbow-Hickson-Bakke Ring Levee project will restore certainty to a hesitant real estate market and provide those North Dakota communities with 500-year flood protection, and will not adversely impact Minnesota in doing so.


Wetlands Restoration Planned for OHB Levee Area

Construction of the ring levee to protect the Oxbow, Hickson and Bakke communities from flooding requires the restoration of wetlands. Ducks Unlimited, a nonprofit conservation group, has been retained to find 17 acres of wetlands as mitigation required by the permit of the Oxbow-Hickson-Bakke Levee project.


Submittals Requested for Agriculture Risk Study

The Diversion Authority board is taking the next step in its development of an Agricultural Impacts Mitigation Plan for lands impacted by the F-M Area Diversion Project. The board is requesting an economic analyst, appraiser, or actuary conduct a before and after appraisal of farmland in the Project’s staging area.

Comment Period Underway on Wild Rice Dam Removal Mitigation Project

A mitigation project by the Corps of Engineers which would remove the Wild Rice Dam down to approximately the adjacent river bed is undergoing public review until September 18, 2014.


Diversion Authority Statement on Action in Federal Court

United States Federal District Judge John R. Tunheim has issued a 33-page Memorandum and Order enjoining the Richland/Wilkin Joint Powers Authority, and all others acting in concert or participation with them, from proceeding with the action it filed in Wilkin County State Court. The injunction is to remain in effect until final judgment is entered in the Federal Court action currently pending before Judge Tunheim, and all appellate rights are exhausted.

Presidential Signature Authorizes F-M Area Diversion Project Construction

President Obama has signed a bill into law which authorizes construction to move forward on the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion Project. The signing of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act marks a critical step to acquiring federal funding for the Project, which will build permanent flood protection for approximately 200,000 people in North Dakota and Minnesota.

A Look at the Aesthetics of Fargo’s 2nd Street Flood Protection Project

Plans for Fargo’s 2nd Street flood control project are moving forward with new designs for landscaping and the selection of materials to be used on flood walls and other architecture. This project is designed to work in conjunction with the F-M Area Diversion Project to provide the City of Fargo with optimal flood protection.

Federal Aid to Help Address Basin-Wide Concerns

Targeted conservation funding of up to $50 million will be available over the next five years in the Red River Basin to minimize flooding, boost soil health, improve water quality and enhance wildlife habitat in the watershed. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was among those who made the announcement.

Why Moorhead and Clay County Need the Diversion Project

The City of Moorhead has spent several years improving its flood defenses. However, Moorhead and Clay County would still benefit from the protection provided by the Diversion Project. Flooding of a severe magnitude could still overtake parts of Moorhead and put great strain on city infrastructure.

Diversion Project Business Task Force Meets

The Business Leaders for Permanent Flood Protection task force met on Wednesday, July 9 and focused exclusively on Minnesota

Impacts to Cemeteries to be Mitigated Fairly and Cooperatively

A report has been posted in the Library.which details a Corps of Engineers study of cemeteries in the Fargo-Moorhead region. The Cemetery Study outlines the current impacts to area cemeteries prone to flooding and the efforts that have been successful during previous floods to mitigate the impacts. In addition, the report lists several potential mitigation options for cemeteries impacted by the Diversion Project.

Bids and Requests for Proposals/Qualifications are located in the Library.

Various permits for the Oxbow-Hickson-Bakke Levee project have been posted in the Library.

Funding Update Provided to North Dakota Water Topics Overview Committee

The chairman of the Flood Diversion Board of Authority, Darrell Vanyo, has updated the North Dakota Water Topics Overview Committee regarding funding for the F-M Area Diversion Project. The complete document comprising Vanyo’s testimony is available in the Library.

Retention Projects Have Potential to Reduce Impacts in Staging Area

The F-M Area Diversion Project’s Staging Area immediately upstream of Fargo-Moorhead is an essential part of the Project. Without it, the amount of water which would pass through the Fargo-Moorhead area during times of severe flooding, and the corresponding impacts downstream, could not be managed adequately. However, the placement of additional water retention projects upstream could lessen the frequency in which the Diversion’s Staging Area would need to be used.

Diversion Coordination with Minnesota DNR Ongoing

The technical team supporting the development of the F-M Area Diversion Project has been busy working with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and several other agencies to maintain communication essential to completion of the Project.

How Intown Levees Improve the Diversion Project

The Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion Project is essential to provide F-M residents with the permanent flood protection they need and deserve. Levees under construction within Fargo-Moorhead will work in conjunction with the Diversion Project to make the Project more efficient and reduce impacts upstream by allowing more water to pass through town.

Residents to be Treated Fairly During Intown Acquisitions

People affected by property acquisitions along 2nd Street in downtown Fargo which will make way for a permanent floodwall will be getting answers soon. The Diversion Authority will be acquiring several properties near downtown to continue the construction of intown levies which will improve flood protection through Fargo.

Why Retention Alone Is Not Enough

Retention, or distributed storage, will not eliminate the need for the upstream staging component of the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion Project. The staging area immediately upstream of the Fargo-Moorhead area is still necessary to offset the downstream impacts of the project for a variety of flood events.

Document Summarizes Top 11 Impact Reduction Efforts

A document summarizing the top refinements made to the F-M Area Diversion Project to limit impacts has been posted on fmdiversion.com. The “Project Refinements Limiting Impacts” document includes 11 examples of how local leaders and Project staff have continued to improve the Project.

Views Increase of Diversion Alignment Fly-Over

The number of internet views is increasing of a fly-over video utilizing Google Earth animation and preliminary design line work of the F-M Area Diversion Project.  The video was posted earlier this year in the Video Library section and is available for viewing or download in Windows Media format or MP4 format.

Financing Option Considered for Local Share of Diversion Project

A financing plan involving special assessment-backed bonds on property within the Diversion alignment is being considered in order to finance the local North Dakota costs of the F-M Area Diversion Project. This plan would ultimately save taxpayer dollars.

Funding Ensures Continued Momentum on Diversion Project

F-M Area Diversion Project officials are pleased that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2014 work plan includes $6.3 million to complete the planning, engineering and design (PED) of the Project. Senators Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven announced the funding.

Current Alignment Reduces Impacts, Costs

Recently, an alternate plan was released by the Richland Wilkin JPA that proposes to construct a southern alignment that runs north of the confluence of the Wild Rice River and the Red River. This is similar to an alignment that was fully studied as part of the process followed by the Corps of Engineers to improve the Diversion Project by reducing risk, impacts to people, and the environment.

Governor Dalrymple Signs Bill to Fund FM Area Diversion

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple has signed House Bill 1020, which includes approximately $100 million for flood protection efforts in Cass County. The legislation also provides legislative intent for $450 million in state funding for the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion Project once certain conditions are met.

42.5 Feet Is Not Enough

To help combat floods in the short-term, Fargo has developed an interim goal to protect the city to 42.5 feet.  This number has been used in a number of different ways, by a number of different people, to make a number of different arguments.

Before/After Maps Tell the Tale

Maps shown recently at public meetings, and posted here, show in detail what a 100-year flood and a 500-year flood would look like in the greater Fargo-Moorhead area…both today, and with the F-M Area Diversion Project in place.

Letters of support for the Diversion Project have been issued by The Business Leaders for Permanent Flood Protection Task Force and the City Council of the City of Harwood, ND. We are thankful for the support.

Document Corrects False Information on Diversion

Numerous studies have shown that the Diversion Project is the only project that can protect the Fargo-Moorhead area from the kind of flooding experts say is possible in the future. However, several pieces of false information regarding the Project have been circulating, which is why a document has been created to provide the facts.



Get Informed
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Facts Project FactThe FM Diversion would protect the local economy, which generates $4.35 billion in annual non-farming wages and over $2.77 billion in annual taxable sales along with $14 billion in property value.


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