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

Oxbow-Hickson-Bakke Levee Project Moves Forward

The flood protection ring levee project around the City of Oxbow, ND and communities of Hickson and Bakke has taken a positive step forward as the Cass County Joint Water Resource District has agreed to advertise for bids on the first phase of the Oxbow-Hickson-Bakke (OHB) Levee project.

NEW: The invitation to bid on the Oxbow-Hickson-Bakke Levee Project is located here in the Library.

Federal Hearing Held on Diversion Project

A federal hearing on the F-M Area Diversion Project was held on April 3, 2014 in Duluth, MN, at the Gerald W. Heaney Federal Building and Courthouse. The hearing was on the Diversion Authority's motion to dismiss three of four counts of a complaint filed by the Richland/Wilkin Joint Powers Authority (JPA).

A Public Notice of Pending Permit Evaluation for the Oxbow, Bakke, Hickson ring levee has been posted on the Corps of Engineers website. A copy can also be found in the Library section of FMDiversion.com at this link.


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.

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.

Agriculture Risk Management Options Outlined

A new document provides a brief summary of available options for mitigating the agricultural risks from the Diversion Project. The draft “Evaluation of Agricultural Risk Management Options for the FM Area Diversion Project”, prepared by a top international crop insurance industry expert, was presented to several committees.

Field Surveys Along Southern Alignment Planned

The Corps of Engineers and the Diversion Authority will begin conducting field surveys along the project’s Southern Alignment (between the Diversion Inlet Structure and the Red River Control Structure and including the embankment to the east into Minnesota and the Overflow Embankment located adjacent to Cass County highway 17) as was done for other areas of the project.

The Diversion Authority has sent a letter to the Bank of North Dakota requesting an operating line of credit be established to help fund flood control projects planned for this year. The letter is posted in the Library.


Robust Construction Schedule Leads to Short Relocation Timeline in Oxbow

The federal appraisal process has begun on properties in the Oxbow, Hickson and Bakke, ND area which are affected by plans for a ring levee around the communities. The ring levee has an independent utility and will provide 500-year flood protection. In addition, the ring levee will protect the communities from water that would be stored upstream.

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.

Diversion Authority and State of Minnesota Agree on Environmental Impact Statement

The Flood Diversion Board of Authority and the State of Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have agreed on contract terms to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion Project.

Diversion Alignment Fly-Over Video with Narration Posted

A video utilizing Google Earth animation and preliminary design line work by the Corps of Engineers of the F-M Area Diversion Project has been posted in the Video Library section.

Organic Issues Considered for Agriculture Impacts Mitigation Plan

The Diversion Authority is widening its focus in the development of an Agricultural Impacts Mitigation Plan to address concerns about how the F-M Area Diversion Project will affect organic farming.

Authorization for Diversion Project Expected in 2014

Congress is nearing final passage of a new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), which is expected to contain authorization for the F-M Area Diversion Project. A bipartisan conference is currently working to reconcile the differences between the two versions of the bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate with overwhelming support earlier this year.

Preliminary Retention Study Results Presented

The preliminary results of the Halstad, MN Upstream Retention (HUR) study on upstream water detention options will assist the Diversion Authority in deciding how to prioritize and allocate $25 million the Authority has pledged for the development of upstream retention projects.


Updated Map of Diversion Project Released

Engineers have released an updated map of the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion Project’s alignment and features. The release follows Corps of Engineers approval in September of documents which detail improvements and modifications to the Project.


Plan to Manage Acquired Properties Approved

The Diversion Authority has approved a plan to manage properties acquired to build and operate the Project. The plan will help the Authority exercise fiduciary and other responsibilities arising from acquired properties; address liability and risk; properly manage physical assets to be a good neighbor, and properly manage physical assets to allow construction and operation of the Project.

Corps Releases Final Environmental Assessment Documents on Proposed Diversion Project Changes

Col. Daniel C. Koprowski, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, has signed documents which detail proposed improvements and modifications to the Diversion Project. The documents update the Supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA).

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.

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.

Assessment District for North Dakota Local Cost Share of Diversion Project Being Studied

A special assessment district is being considered for the North Dakota local cost share of the FM Area Diversion Project. The assessment district is expected to improve the cost of financing for the project. However, revenues from the City and County sales taxes will be the primary source of paying for the local share of the Project.

Diversion Authority and Oxbow Sign Agreement for Ring Levee

The Diversion Authority and City of Oxbow, ND have approved a finalized “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOU), which outlines each organization’s roles and responsibilities regarding the construction of a ring levee for Oxbow.

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
Upcoming Meetings Upcoming MeetingsLearn about upcoming meetings regarding the project. Click Here
Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked QuestionsFind answers to commonly asked questions and learn about common misconceptions about the project. Click Here
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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