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Renwick Dam near Cavalier gets rehab funding

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news Grand Forks, 58203

Grand Forks North Dakota 375 2nd Ave. N. 58203

The Renwick Dam that protects Cavalier, N.D., and other communities on the Tongue River is getting funding to complete rehabilitation work, according to the state’s congressional delegation Friday.

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Built in the 1950s, the earthen dam was recently designated a “high-hazard dam,” and improvements are needed to ensure it can continue to provide flood protection, according Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.

The dam was threatened in May 2013 when heavy rains caused water to nearly overflow the top of the dam. Cavalier, a town of 1,300, was evacuated for 60 hours as a precaution.

The $294,000 announced Friday is part of a $262 million package to repair dams around the country, according to Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.

His office said another nine dams throughout the state will receive $20,000 each for safety assessments, including dams on the Forest River, Park River and Turtle River.

Renwick Dam was earlier rehabilitated in 2011 when it was raised 5 feet, according to Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. The $294,000 will support the second phase of rehabilitation.

Cramer, Heitkamp and Hoeven all touted the multiple benefits of dams like Renwick Dam, which provides not just flood protection but also recreation and water for agriculture.

“It is critical for us to make infrastructure investments like this one to help our communities thrive,” Heitkamp said. “Especially because of the increased population in our state and aging infrastructure, the time to invest in infrastructure projects is now.” 

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