Hoeven, Heitkamp and Cramer: Army Corps Work Plan Includes $20 Million for Permanent Flood Protection in Fargo-Moorhead

WASHINGTON – Senators John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp and Congressman Kevin Cramer today announced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 work plan includes $20 million for permanent flood protection for the Fargo-Moorhead region. The funding will support the construction of an inlet structure, as well as the design of further flood control features and environmental mitigation projects.

“This funding is part of our ongoing efforts to bring federal, local, public and private partners together to provide comprehensive flood protection in the Red River Valley,” Hoeven said. “Permanent flood protection for the entire region is vital to the security and peace of mind for local residents and businesses. We continue working to secure additional funding and remain committed to building consensus and addressing the concerns of groups across the region.”

“After pushing Army Corps leaders last week to include the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion in the work plan, today’s announcement shows momentum is on our side,” said Heitkamp. “We’ve broken ground on the diversion, but that doesn’t mean the job is done—which is why we need to keeping pressuring the Army Corps and the administration to deliver. It’s disappointing that the administration didn’t include federal diversion funding in its 2018 budget, but it’s a result I warned was possible when the president proposed drastic budget cuts earlier this year. As work continues on the diversion, I’ll remain engaged with all sides to make sure this project moves forward, as families and businesses in Fargo are counting on.”   

“While we’re making progress on securing adequate funding for the project, several hurdles remain,” Cramer said. “As we move forward, I’m hopeful we can iron out the differences between stakeholders for the betterment of folks living in the floodplain across the Red River Valley.”

Today’s funding follows last month’s groundbreaking for the inlet structure, which marked the 20th anniversary of the 1997 flood in the Red River Valley. The project was authorized in the Water Resources Development Act in May 2014 and the new construction start was authorized in the funding bill passed by Congress in December 2015. The delegation also worked to include the project in the Corps’ FY2016 work plan and secured $5 million in funding for construction. The delegation is committed to securing funding for comprehensive flood protection in the Red River Valley, including continuing to work with the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which must approve Army Corps work plans.