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Published January 31, 2010, 12:25 AM

Corps to give flood protection update

In a much-anticipated meeting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, local officials learn Monday whether a North Dakota diversion aimed at permanent Fargo-Moorhead flood protection meets standards for federal funding.

By: Dave Olson, INFORUM

In a much-anticipated meeting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, local officials learn Monday whether a North Dakota diversion aimed at permanent Fargo-Moorhead flood protection meets standards for federal funding.

Public support – ranging from resident input to votes by government boards – overwhelmingly favors a diversion in North Dakota rather than Minnesota.

Corps officials and the cities of Fargo and Moorhead also will host public meetings Tuesday and Wednesday to review the latest information in the search for a permanent flood protection project.

Options for the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area have been narrowed down to building a diversion channel in either North Dakota or Minnesota.

The corps is considering four options for a short diversion in Minnesota, with capacities of 20,000, 25,000, 30,000 and 35,000 cubic feet per second.

Two diversion options in North Dakota are being studied with capacities of 30,000 and 35,000 cfs. Both would incorporate the Sheyenne Diversion.

An early analysis found that three of the Minnesota diversion options, ranging in cost from $962 million to $1.264 billion, met or exceeded the cost-benefit ratio of 1.0, which is necessary to receive federal funding.

A 1.0 cost-benefit ratio means that for every dollar spent on the project there would be at least a dollar in savings resulting from the flood protection.

The North Dakota option that is closest to qualifying for federal funding had a ratio of 0.95 and a price tag of $1.337 billion in the early analysis.

Numbers relating to the various options have changed, but corps officials said details would not be released until corps officials meet with local officials Monday morning.

If you go

  • What: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public meetings on flood protection alternatives

  • When: Tuesday and Wednesday. Open house starts at 6 p.m. both evenings, followed by presentations at 7 p.m.

  • Where: Tuesday’s meeting will be in Centennial Hall,

    207 4th St. N., Fargo; Wednesday’s meeting will be held in the Hansen Theatre in the Center for the Arts on the Minnesota State University Moorhead campus, 801 13th St. S.

Flood meetings ahead

  • Listen to the U.S. Corps of Engineers present flood protection options to local officials Monday. Tune into WDAY AM 970 at 9 a.m. Monday or click on the WDAY Web stream button on www.inforum.com.

  • Tuesday’s meeting will be available online at the city of Fargo Web site at www.cityoffargo.com; and Fargo CableOne Channel TV Fargo 12 will broadcast the meeting on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m.

  • Wednesday’s meeting will be available via streaming video on the city of Moorhead Web site, www.cityofmoorhead.com/flood. Moorhead Community TV will also broadcast the meetings on CableOne Channel 12. See local listings for times.

  • To see past flood information and to follow future flood events, visit The Forum’s flood blog at www.areavoices.com/springflood.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

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