FARGO — Major federal funding has been obtained to to build more permanent flood protection around Fargo's water treatment plant and pump station in south Fargo.

The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services announced Thursday, May 28, that FEMA will pay for $3.6 million of the $4.8 million project that involves extending a short section of flood wall as well as raising and extending the operating floor of the plant above the 500-year flood plain elevation.

Electrical equipment will also be relocated to the dry side of the new flood wall.

"Through collaboration between many different groups, including the City of Fargo and FEMA, we were able to initiate a project that will provide protection for more than 150,000 residents living in the Red River Valley,” said Justin Messner, the recovery and mitigation chief for the state agency. The plant serves residents in Fargo, West Fargo, Oxbow and surrounding communities.

With the federal aid, Fargo can complete any design work, bid the project and begin construction, said Messner. The agency can also reimburse the city for any other eligible project costs and monitor the project to make sure it meets FEMA standards.