Hoeven Working to Advance Flood Protection for Minot Region, Secure Funding for Future Phases

Senator Highlights Flood Impacts on Minot ICBM Mission, Low-Income Households

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week continued his efforts to advance flood protection for the Souris River Valley and secure funding for future phases of the project to ensure comprehensive flood protection for the entire region. Specifically, during hearings of the Senate Appropriations Committees for Military Construction, as well as Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, Hoeven stressed the impacts of flooding on the missions of the Minot Air Force Base, and his continued work to support comprehensive flood protection for the Minot region:

  • Minot Air Force Base.
    • The 2011 flood damaged and inundated roadways that the 91st Missile Wing uses to access its fleet of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), threatening the operation of the nation’s nuclear deterrent.
  • Comprehensive Flood Protection.
    • Federal cost-benefit requirements for Army Corps of Engineer (ASCE) projects present challenges in securing funding for infrastructure to protect certain portions of the region, including low-income areas, against flood risks. 
    • While the first four phases will protect 60 percent of the region’s residents, Hoeven is working to ensure funding is in place to deliver flood protection for the entire region.

Accordingly, the senator urged federal officials to work with him and local leaders to identify and secure funding sources, like the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) and the Defense Access Roads programs, to help address these issues. Moreover, Hoeven encouraged Mark Correll, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety and Infrastructure, to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to accelerate its work on the project and elevate it on the Corps’ priority list. 

This follows the senator’s successful efforts to include authorization for the Minot region’s flood protection project in the year-end legislation passed by Congress in December. The authorization enables the project’s fourth phase to receive federal funding. The legislation also included a one-year extension for Minot and other recipients to use funds awarded under the National Disaster Resiliency Competition (NDRC). 

“The 2011 flood brought tremendous hardship to the Minot region, displacing more than 11,000 residents and inundating more than 4,100 structures,” said Hoeven. “But beyond the impact on local residents, this disaster had serious national security implications, as seven ICBM launch facilities were not accessible due to flooded roadways. The first four phases of the project will alleviate the majority of impacts, but additional funding is needed for future phases to address flood risks throughout the rest of the region, both for the base’s missions and for those areas that don’t meet the Corps’ cost-benefit requirements. That’s the case I made to officials from DoD and HUD this week.”

The hearings build on meetings Hoeven organized in 2018 and 2019 with a wide range of federal, state and local officials to ensure Minot can access federal support when constructing the upcoming phases of the flood protection project, which include:

  • Phase 5 – a levee tieback system in northeast Minot.
  • Phase 6 – the downtown floodwall, South Roosevelt Park floodwall and levee and South Valker Road levee.
  • Phases 7 and 8 – the North Roosevelt levee, North Valker Road levee, 27th Street diversion and Keller levee.