Senators secure more flood study money for Souris River project

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Fiscal Year 2018 work plan includes funding to advance flood protection in the Minot area, according to Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven.

The senators secured the inclusion of $700,000 for the Minot region’s flood study in the work plan. It includes $400,000 in federal funds secured earlier this year.

The study is a key step that must be completed prior to the construction of the project’s fourth phase, which will tie the earlier phases together and deliver flood protection for 60 percent of residents in the Souris River valley.

The feasibility study is examining flood risk reduction options for the city. Launched in 2016 with $200,000 in federal support and continued with an $900,000 appropriation last year, the study is nearing completion.

Hoeven also included language in the FY2019 Energy and Water funding bill, which the full Senate Appropriations Committee approved last month, to encourage the Corps to continue reforms to accelerate section 404 and 408 reviews that experienced significant delays in prior years. Last year, Hoeven secured similar language in the bill to expedite processing of Section 408 packages that affected several North Dakota projects, including those in Minot.