The N.D. Department of Emergency Services (NDDES) was notified this week that its efforts to secure funding to build permanent flood protection around Fargo’s water treatment plant and pump station were approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The $4.8 million project, of which $3.6 million will be provided by FEMA, was developed by the City of Fargo through an NDDES-assisted project application that was submitted under FEMA’s Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) Grant Program.

Some of the flood mitigation construction projects planned for the water treatment plant include extending a short section of floodwall, as well as raising and extending the operating floor of the plant above the 500-year floodplain elevation. Electrical equipment also will be relocated to the dry side of the new floodwall. Once complete, the project will ensure flood protection for the facility and continued services to residents across Fargo, West Fargo, Oxbow and the surrounding communities.

“Through collaboration between many different groups, including the City of Fargo and FEMA, we were able to initiate a project that will provide protection for more than 150,000 residents living in the Red River Valley,” said Justin Messner, NDDES Recovery and Mitigation chief. “Other communities and local governments in North Dakota are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities FEMA provides through its PDM and Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Programs. Our team works hard to collaborate with our federal partners to facilitate funding for mitigation projects across the state, which protect residents during natural disasters or hazards and help build resiliency in our communities.”

Now that the Fargo project has been approved, the city will complete any remaining design work, bid the project and begin construction. NDDES will reimburse the city for any eligible project costs and monitor the project as it gets completed to ensure it complies with FEMA standards.

Since 1997, a total of $289 million in local, tribal, state and federal funding has been leveraged for mitigation projects that have reduced the impacts of flooding, severe winter weather, severe summer weather and other hazards and threats in North Dakota.

According to a study by the National Institute for Building Standards, pre-disaster mitigation saves an average of $6 for every $1 spent. Additionally, the Pew Charitable Trusts recently identified that North Dakota saves an average of $6.54 for every $1 spent on mitigation projects. 

For more information about hazard mitigation, visit https://www.nd.gov/des/disaster/hazard-mitigation/.