Hoeven Presses Corps to Approve Phased Approach to Move Forward Souris River Basin Flood Protections

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today joined state and local officials at a meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies to move forward the enhanced flood protection project for the Souris River Basin. Hoeven encouraged the federal agencies to provide permits for the project in phases to ensure that it can be completed in the most timely and efficient manner.

“We need to move forward on the flood management project for the Souris River Basin as quickly and efficiently as possible to protect Minot and the communities along the Souris River from potential flooding,” said Hoeven. “Completing the project in phases will help us to do just that. We encourage the Corps to move this project forward in phases, as opposed to waiting for permits on the entire project.”

The basin-wide Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project has the ultimate goal of providing flood protections up to the flood of record, or 27,400 cfs. The flood protection project includes phases to build levees and floodwalls, raise roads and bridges, construct ring dikes and acquire buildings in Minot, Velva, Burlington, Sawyer and other surrounding communities.

Hoeven also has been working to advance an important International Joint Commission (IJC) study of the Souris River Basin. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has worked to make $250,000 available to help fund the study, and the state has committed $300,000.

Souris River management is governed by the IJC’s Souris River Board. That includes control of the Boundary, Rafferty and Alameda reservoirs in the Province of Saskatchewan, along Lake Darling in North Dakota. All are important components of flood management infrastructure on the Souris River, but they were severely challenged throughout the basin during the 2011 flood event. Consequently, the board recommended that the IJC initiate a study to review Souris River management to reduce the risk of future flooding.

Hoeven also reviewed federal relief to Minot and Ward County in grants, loans and direct assistance to date, which amounts to more than $652 million for a range of flood recovery and prevention activities.