Hoeven Holds Meeting to Coordinate Flood Response Efforts in the Red River Valley
Senator Also Discusses Progress on Comprehensive Flood Protection
FARGO, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today held a meeting with city, county and federal authorities to prepare for expected spring flooding in the Red River Valley. The senator received an update on the latest forecast from the National Weather Service and discussed disaster and first responder preparations being made in the region, including sandbagging operations which are set to begin later this week. Participants included Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney, West Fargo Mayor Bernie Dardis, Cass County Commission Chairman Chad Peterson and representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Communities across the Red River Valley understand the risk of annual flooding, and today’s meeting is about ensuring officials at all levels of government are coordinating their flood response to most effectively protect local residents,” said Hoeven. “The good news is that we have not been idle in recent years, when the risk of flooding was low. We are better protected against flooding than we have been in the past. But again, we need to assist homes and businesses that still face the threat of flooding, and we are working to ensure government agencies are adequately prepared to protect them.”
The senator also discussed how, due to progress made on flood protection in recent years, this year’s flood fight should require less resources. Hoeven credited local leaders for their hard work to build flood protection throughout the region, while outlining his efforts to advance comprehensive flood protection. To date, Hoeven’s efforts have included:
- Working to pass 16 acts of Congress, including:
- 9 legislative provisions, such as the project authorization in 2014 and a new construction start authorization in 2016.
- 7 separate appropriations to fund the project’s construction.
- Coordinating efforts across four federal agencies.
- Working with Senator Klobuchar and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to secure a $437 million award for the project, which completes the $750 million federal funding commitment.
- Advancing this as the first major Army Corps project in the nation to utilize:
- The P3 split-delivery model.
- A WIFIA loan.
- Providing funding and flexibility to concurrently raise I-29 and begin excavating the Red River Control Structure to keep the project on schedule.
- Helping renegotiate the Project Partnership Agreement to increase the federal funding commitment from $450 million.
- Resolving the easement issue on lands purchased with Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) funding, allowing the project to use an alternative route.
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