Dorgan: New flood data 'good news' for diversion
Updated figures from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers strengthen the case for a North Dakota-side flood diversion for Fargo-Moorhead, Sen. Byron Dorgan said Thursday, calling it "very good news."...
Updated figures from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers strengthen the case for a North Dakota-side flood diversion for Fargo-Moorhead, Sen. Byron Dorgan said Thursday, calling it "very good news."
Dorgan said the corps briefed him Wednesday night on new data showing annual flood damage would be even greater than an updated estimate released just last week if a flood control project isn't built.
Last week, the corps said a new analysis found the annual flood damage estimate had jumped from $77 million to $177 million.
Dorgan said during a weekly conference call with reporters that he couldn't provide specifics on the updated figure but that it will be an increase over the $177 million.
That should give a boost to the diversion plan with the largest net benefits, known as the National Economic Development plan, which the corps says is currently a Minnesota channel that would divert 35,000 cubic feet of water per second.
"And that will increase the federal funding for a locally preferred option on the North Dakota side," Dorgan said, adding the amount will be "substantial."
Corps Project Manager Aaron Snyder said the preliminary numbers "may be larger than previously thought," but the corps must verify the data before releasing official figures.
If that process is completed, the updated figures will likely be released Wednesday when the Metro Flood Study Work Group meets, Snyder said.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528