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

Commanding General of the Corps committed to Diversion Project

Several federal, state and local officials updated the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the need for flood protection, progress made so far on the FM Area Diversion Project, as well as the Diversion Authority’s ambitions to complete work on the project as soon as is feasible.

Diversion Authority approves P3 project delivery method

The Flood Diversion Board of Authority is moving forward with an intent to develop a project delivery method which will facilitate a shorter construction schedule for the Diversion Project, and at a lower cost than would be possible under standard delivery models.


Busy months ahead for Diversion Project on several fronts

Major events will occur in the next month that provide support for the FM Area Diversion Project and address several concerns. That was main message delivered in person earlier this month in Testimony to the North Dakota Water Topics Overview Committee by the Chairman of the Flood Diversion Board of Authority.

Only the Diversion Project will counter higher flood insurance premiums

The FM Area Diversion Project is the only project which is capable of negating the predicted sharp rise in flood insurance premiums for thousands of Fargo homeowners in the coming years. Dr. Tim Mahoney, Mayor of the City of Fargo, delivered that message to the North Dakota Water Topics Overview Committee.

Property valuation: tax assessment vs. appraisal

Some recent public discussions that have tried to explain the differences in valuation of real property methods have led to confusion and misunderstanding regarding the process being followed to relocate and rebuild homes in Oxbow, ND.

New committee meeting times approved

The Flood Diversion Board of Authority has approved new meeting times for the various committees which serve under the Board.


Housing construction and relocations resume in Oxbow

Construction of replacement homes and the relocation of the Oxbow Country Club have resumed in Oxbow, ND following a clarification issued by a federal judge.

Program championed by Sen. Hoeven would help fund Diversion Project

Legislation that would bring billions of investment dollars to State and local government to help grow and repair America's aging infrastructure would also play an instrumental role in making sure new construction projects, such as the FM Area Diversion Project, are competitive for funding.

Flood protection requirements for housing relocations follow federal guidelines

Imagine a situation in which you have to move and rebuild your home in a new area. That’s something Chad Peterson, Chairman of the Cass County Commission, asked members of the FM Area Diversion Project’s Land Management Committee to consider.

Diversion Project Will Protect FM Homeowners Against Higher Flood Insurance Rates

Realtor Kevin Fisher is worried about what he’s seeing in the local housing industry. However, once the FM Area Diversion Project is built, most, if not all, of his flood-related concerns will disappear.

Corps' Draft Cemetery Mitigation Plan Released

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a draft Cemetery Mitigation Plan, including attachments and appendices, for cemeteries impacted by the FM Area Diversion Project's Staging Area.

FM Diversion will Protect Thousands of Jobs

An updated report illustrates how much the workforce of the Fargo-Moorhead area, and surrounding counties, depends on the construction of permanent flood protection.

North Dakota Governor Signs Water Bill Containing Diversion Funding

North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple has signed legislation which includes $69 million in appropriation for the FM Area Diversion Project for the next fiscal year. Senate Bill 2020 (SB2020) is the legislation that carries the Governor’s budget for the State Water Commission and contains funding for water projects across the State.

FEMA Warns Remapping of the Floodplain Could Start in Five Years

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has plans to come back to the region in five years and start remapping the 100-year floodplain. Local officials warn this could put almost 20,000 residents into the floodplain, requiring costly flood insurance mandates.

How the FM Diversion Benefits Areas Outside Fargo

The Fargo-Moorhead (FM) Area Diversion Project will not only protect Fargo, ND from extreme flooding; it will also provide many valuable benefits to neighboring communities such as West Fargo and Harwood, ND; and Moorhead, MN.

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.

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.

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.


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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.



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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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