Diversion Authority Responds to Minnesota; Lowers OHB Ring Levee
The Diversion Authority is taking action to continue forging a constructive working relationship with Minnesota regarding the construction of the Oxbow-Hickson-Bakke Levee and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ ongoing preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement.
Minnesota and North Dakota Cooperation on Diversion Project Dates Back to 2009
Minnesota and North Dakota officials have been cooperating since 2009 in an exhaustive effort to build permanent protection against severe flooding for the F-M area. Those efforts led to the formation and membership of the Diversion Authority board that exists today.
OHB Levee Construction Progresses
Construction on Work Package 43A of the Oxbow-Hickson-Bakke (OHB) Levee project, which will protect these communities from water that would be stored upstream of Fargo-Moorhead by the Diversion Project, has been completed. Design is continuing on remaining sections of the Levee.
Diversion Authority Reports to the North Dakota Legislative Budget Section
The chairman of the Flood Diversion Board of Authority has updated the North Dakota Legislative Budget Section regarding funding for the F-M Area Diversion Project. Darrell Vanyo provided updates to Committee members on the status of the Project’s political, financial and technical tracts.
Only One Plan Meets the Objectives
One question asked frequently about the F-M Area Diversion Project is, “Is there a Plan B?”
"Through the extensive federal process of producing our Environmental Impact Statement, we evaluated a multitude of potential alternatives," said Brett Coleman, Corps of Engineers Project Manager. "As each alternative was studied further, they were dismissed. There is no 'Plan B'. From a federal perspective, only one plan meets the objectives set."
Mitigation Planning for Cemeteries Continues
The Corps of Engineers recently conducted site visits to all 11 cemeteries potentially impacted by the F-M Area Diversion Project, and sent follow-up letters notifying each site POC of the plan to conduct Phase 1 and Phase II cultural resources surveys.
Diversion Authority Approves Proposed 2015 Budget
The Flood Diversion Board of Authority has approved a budget for the F-M Area Diversion Project for 2015.
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.
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
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
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
How Intown Levees Improve the Diversion
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
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
Why Retention Alone Is Not
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
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.