FLOOD UPDATE: Officials plan to testify during today's Senate hearing in FargoFARGO - Sen. Byron Dorgan will hold an official hearing in Fargo today to take testimony on the need for permanent flood protection for the Fargo-Moorhead area.
By: Helmut Schmidt, INFORUM
FARGO - Sen. Byron Dorgan will hold an official hearing in Fargo today to take testimony on the need for permanent flood protection for the Fargo-Moorhead area.
The Senate’s Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee meets at 3:30 p.m. in Room 201 of the Fargodome, 1800 N. University Drive.
Dorgan is chairman of the committee, which allocates funding for flood control projects.
Govs. John Hoeven of North Dakota and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker, and representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are to testify.
The corps is already working on flood-control alternatives for the Red River basin. One possible fix is a 30-mile, $909 million diversion channel through Minnesota.
Another option is $625 million in levees, incorporating Fargo’s proposed $161 million Southside Flood Control Project.
But, coming up with a consensus plan, which Dorgan has said is necessary, may not be easy.
Minnesota representatives had little good to say Tuesday about a diversion going through their state, saying that it was being done largely to protect Fargo.
“I think the chances of there being a diversion on the Minnesota side are about minus 5 percent, OK?” U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., said during a meeting in Moorhead with city and Clay County officials.
Officials at the meeting said they want to work with Fargo on a flooding solution, but it can’t negatively affect Minnesotans.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583