Hoeven: Corps Working Flood Protection Plan

Commander Says New Corps Funding Will Help Meet Goals

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today met with Col. Michael Price, Commander of the St. Paul District of the Army Corps of Engineers, for a briefing on flood recovery and permanent flood protection efforts across North Dakota. Col. Price is responsible for management of the Mouse River Basin, Devils Lake and the Red River Basin. The Colonel outlined work the agency is doing in Fargo, Minot, Devils Lake and other communities in his district to aid with recovery and prepare for potential flooding next year. 

“A comprehensive solution to our flooding problems requires a two-pronged approach,” Hoeven said. “First, we need to do all we can to help communities rebuild after a season of severe flooding, and second, we need to do all we can to prevent it from happening again. We are working to make sure communities have all the resources they need from the federal government on both counts.” 

Minot Recovery and Protection 

Col. Price said the Corps was making progress in Minot recovery efforts after this spring’s flooding of the Mouse River, which is called the Souris River in Canada. He said most temporary dikes have been removed, and he expects debris removal to conclude at the end of this month. The Corps is also working to prepare more than 1200 pads for temporary Federal Emergency Management Agency housing. 

The Corps is juggling funds for several disasters across the country, but he expects additional money soon to shore up Minot’s emergency levees. Hoeven pledged to push for those funds in Congress, Col. Price said. 

Hoeven inserted language into the State Department’s 2012 budget calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to initiate a U.S.-Canadian bilateral review of Souris-Mouse River management. The Senate Appropriations Committee, of which Hoeven is a member, approved that language today. The provision will complement a post flood report that Col. Price is preparing for review by the International Joint Commission’s Souris River Board at the end of this year. Price expects a February meeting of the board will update Mouse River operations plans for next year.

 Devils Lake 

            Col. Price said all basic contracts for flood mitigation work are in place, and the agency expects to complete all levee work to 1463 feet above sea level in the current construction season and up to 1466 feet in the next. The agency continues to work with the state on a three-part outlet plan, including a west end outlet from Devils Lake, an east end outlet from Stump Lake and a control structure to manage flows through the Tolna Coulee. Hoeven said he will work to obtain federal authority to elevate roads as flood protection measures in the Devils Lake area. 


            On Friday, the Corps will present its plans for Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion to the agency’s Civil Works Review Board in Washington, which must approve the plan before the Chief of the Corps can formally endorse it. Hoeven and his Senate colleagues also are encouraging the Administration to include $30 million in its 2013 budget for the Corps to advance the Fargo flood protection project.