Small cities want to stop flood diversion plan for Red Riverby Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio
Moorhead, Minn. — Several small communities near Fargo-Moorhead are joining forces in an effort to stop a proposed Red River diversion, which is designed to reduce or eliminate flooding along the river in the two cities which occurs every spring.
The diversion would hold back as much as eight feet of water upstream from Fargo-Moorhead, and flood several small communities. About 400 homes would be affected.
Dan Zink, a City Council member from the small community of Oxbow, just south of Fargo, said at a news conference Thursday that the pending diversion devalues property in his town.
"So the citizens of our community sit and wait in this limbo period, not knowing if our homes are marketable, or if we should continue to invest in our homes, our streets, our park," he said. "It's time for a new plan."
The upstream communities say retention projects like reservoirs and restored wetlands are a better option.
Officials in Fargo and Moorhead say they want to work with upstream communities, but they maintain that a diversion is the only thing can protect their cities from a catastrophic flood.
The $2 billion diversion project has not yet been authorized or funded by Congress.