The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, and the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Board of Authority are inviting the public to a 1997 Flood Commemoration and Groundbreaking Ceremony at 1 p.m., today at the future site of the diversion project’s inlet control structure.
The ceremony will take place outdoors near the intersection of County Roads 17 and 16 south of Horace.
Today is the 20th anniversary of the day the Red River crested in Fargo and Moorhead during the historic flood of 1997. During this event, we will remember this flood, as well as break ground to mark the start of federal construction for the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management Project (diversion project).
“For over 20 years, we’ve all experienced the unbelievable stories of heartache and heroism from the floods of 1997 and 2009, along with the impact they have made upon the lives of citizens in Fargo-Moorhead and the surrounding area,” said Dr. Tim Mahoney, Mayor of Fargo.
“Our people have waited patiently for many years for this moment and now the wait is finally over. We are officially breaking ground on the project that will keep us safe from flooding.”
“As we commemorate fighting the historic flood of 1997, we also realize the flood of 2009 crested even higher in Fargo and Moorhead,” said Col. Sam Calkins, St. Paul District commander. “We’re committed to building a project that prevents catastrophic flooding.”
The Diversion Project includes a 30-mile long diversion channel in North Dakota. The plan also includes a 12-mile long southern embankment, 19 highway bridges, four railroad bridges, three gated control structures and two aqueduct structures.
The project will provide protection from flooding for 230,000 people and 70 square miles of existing infrastructure in the communities of Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo, Horace and Harwood.