Engineers have released their 1,500-page proposal to protect areas from Burlington through Minot to Velva, N.D., and also Mouse River Park in Renville County. It would cost $154 million to acquire property for levees, flood walls and other structures, and $565 million to build them. The rest of the cost is engineering and management expenses.
This could be the year that flood protection projects are completed in Crookston. The 100-year flood protection of Jerome’s Addition is scheduled to be finished this year, its second year of work. Jerome’s is the city’s last major residential area to receive U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-certified protection, following the Woods, Sampson’s and Chase-Loring additions.
wetland preservation, restoration and/or development can be accomplished through very effective, environmentally friendly and federally approved projects.
And North Dakota has developed only a small fraction of the potential sites.
It would be a far wiser investment to build retention sites that enhance upstream and downstream properties rather than build something that will cause millions of dollars in damage because of the diversion.
Those of us in the valley already have weathered one flood. I ask the engineers tasked with crafting Minot’s flood control plan to spare us from facing another, far more devastating “flood” of green space and earthen dikes.
The bad news is that the federal deficit means cost cutting in Washington is the order of the day. The good news is that good ideas are surfacing to streamline the process so that vital flood protection work in North Dakota and elsewhere can progress.
Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker said today that city leaders next year will ask Fargo taxpayers to extend a half-cent infrastructure sales tax to help pay for $200 million in interim flood control measures to protect the city to a Red River level of 42½ to 43 feet. Those improvements, including buyouts of expensive homes in flood-prone areas, would be made over a period of about 10 years and would be a “bridge” to protect the city until a diversion could provide 500-year flood protection, or a flood of about 46 feet, Walaker said.
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