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 diversion channel with 32,500 acres of upstream staging. The total width of the channel is 1,500-1,600 feet, which includes a bottom width of 300-400 feet, side slopes, excavated material berms, and adjacent lateral drains. Read more about why the Diversion is needed.


Breaking News

Diversion Funding Bill Crosses Over to North Dakota House

A bill providing $69 million for the FM Area Diversion Project has crossed-over to the North Dakota House after the Senate version was approved in February by a unanimous vote of 46-0. Tim Mahoney, Fargo Mayor and member of the Diversion Authority, has asked the members for a “Do-Pass” recommendation for Senate Bill 2020 (SB2020).

Informational Meetings Being Held to Detail Proposed Diversion Project Financing Plan

Four informational meetings are being held throughout March which detail a proposed assessment district created to finance a portion of North Dakota's local share of the FM Area Diversion Project.

Helpful Forum Article: Q&A: Specials for F-M diversion prompt questions

This article published in The Forum offers a Q and A which is helpful in describing the proposed assessment district being considered to help fund the FM Area Diversion Project.

Senator Hoeven: Diversion Project Funding Plan “A Remarkable Opportunity”

Construction on the FM Area Diversion Project is ready to begin as early as 2016 under a private financing plan which could save a significant amount of money and cut the federal share of the project in half, as well as reduce the number of years needed to complete the work.

Construction Continues Apace on Aspects of Diversion Project

During the February 6 special meeting of the Flood Diversion Board of Authority, Project leaders told members of Congress and the Corps of Engineers that construction is moving forward at a healthy pace.

North Dakota’s Governor Reinforces Commitment to Diversion Project Funding

North Dakota’s 64th Legislative Assembly is in session in Bismarck, and Governor Dalrymple has acknowledged the importance of the FM Area Diversion Project by once again including funding for the Project in his two-year, $15.7 billion budget.

How the Diversion Project Liability Assessment will Save Money for Homeowners

A plan to finance the local share of the FM Area Diversion Project will save thousands of dollars a year for some Fargo homeowners, compared to potential flood insurance rates.

Agricultural Policy Subcommittee Reviews Preliminary Findings

The Diversion Authority's Agricultural Policy Subcommittee met on December 12 to review preliminary modeling results from the work being done by NDSU's Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics. The Diversion Authority contracted with the Department to help evaluate the impacts on farm land due to operation of the Diversion Project.

Diversion Authority Honors Memory of Mayor Walaker

Members of the Flood Diversion Board of Authority began their December meeting by approving a Resolution honoring the memory of Fargo’s chief flood fighter. Dennis Walaker, Mayor of Fargo and Diversion Authority member, passed away on December 2 after a battle with cancer. He was 73.


Land Acquisition Underway

The acquisition of the land necessary to build the FM Area Diversion Project is underway. Overall, the Diversion Project will require the acquisition of approximately $350-$400 million in land rights.

Home Construction Begins in Oxbow

The construction of homes which will be needed to mitigate the impacts of the Oxbow-Hickson-Bakke Ring Levee Project is underway in Oxbow, ND. Forty homes and one business within the City of Oxbow need to be acquired.

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 FM area. Those efforts led to the formation and membership of the Diversion Authority board that exists today.

Only One Plan Meets the Objectives

One question asked frequently about the FM 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."

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 FM 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.

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.

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.

Retention Projects Have Potential to Reduce Impacts in Staging Area

The FM 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 FM 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 FM 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 FM 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.

Current Alignment Reduces Impacts, Costs

An alternate plan 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 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.

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 FM 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
Special Assessment District Information

Special Assessment District Information
Read details on this proposal to help fund the Diversion Project. Click Here

Upcoming Meetings

Upcoming Meetings
Learn about upcoming meetings regarding the project. Click Here

Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to commonly asked questions and learn about common misconceptions about the project. Click Here
Frequently Asked Questions

What Others are Saying in the Media
Read articles from others in the media that we find helpful in understanding the Diversion Project. Click Here

Facts Project Facts
The 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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