The Mouse River Basin Enhanced Flood Protection Project is in direct response to the 2011 flood in the Mouse River Basin in North Dakota. This historic flood caused unprecedented damage throughout the basin. As a result, the Souris River Joint Board asked Governor Dalrymple for assistance in developing a flood protection for the entire basin in North Dakota. The North Dakota State Water Commission was given the task of preparing a Preliminary Engineering Report that includes an alignment plan that can be used for property acquisition.
There were several initial events that took place at the onset of project development that played a significant role in the creation of the Mouse River Basin Enhanced Flood Protection Project.
On September 30, a delegation of impacted area representatives traveled to Grand Forks, toured the Grand Forks flood protection project and participated in several meetings with City of Grand Forks staff members and public officials, where they discussed their project features and challenges, and offered suggestions to the Mouse River team. The Souris River Joint Board met on October 4 to review the flood control project development timelines, communications plan and organizational structure. A startup workshop was conducted October 5 - 7 and brought together representatives of the impacted areas to discuss priorities, challenges and a variety of alternatives for flood protection throughout the basin.
The Initial Concept Alignment was released on November 3, 2011. This release included a technical memo and associated maps.
Following the release of the Initial Concept Alignment on November 3, 2011, a series of three public input meetings were held. Meetings held November 8 & 9, 2011, focused on the community of Minot while the upstream and downstream residents met on November 10, 2011. Public input from the meetings, and that which was submitted through other methods such as the website, was collected and analyzed.
As a result, two additional alternatives for consideration were released. Both alignment alternatives included the use of a diversion channel and closure structures. These alternatives were developed in the 27th Street SE neighborhood and the Ramstad/Lincoln neighborhood.
On November 30, 2011, the Revised Draft Preliminary Alignment was released which outlined the details of the refinements to the Initial Concept Alignment, creating the Revised Draft Preliminary Alignment.
Following the November 30, 2011, alignment release additional consideration was given to the Ramstad/Lincoln neighborhood and a third alternative was developed for that area which is called the Maple Diversion.
As the engineering team continued the analysis and study of the Revised Draft Preliminary Alignment, it became evident that the City of Minot would need to select a preferred alternative in both of the neighborhoods where multiple options were being considered, in order to complete the Preliminary Engineering Report and associated cost estimates. Engineers presented documentation and information regarding all of the alternatives to the Minot City Council at a special City Council meeting held on January 24, 2012. The presentation can be found at the bottom of this page. On January 31, 2012, the City of Minot held a public input meeting to hear public comment specifically regarding these two areas. Following the public comment portion of the meeting the City Council voted to proceed with the 27th Street SE Diversion and the Maple Diversion for the purpose of completing the Preliminary Engineering Report.
The Preliminary Engineering Report was released on February 29, 2012. The final report and associated maps can be reviewed here.
Following the release of the Preliminary Engineering Report, the ND State Water Commission directed the engineering team to
develop a preliminary engineering report that would provide recommendations on addressing the flooding concerns in the areas which were not previously included in the project area. Those areas along the Mouse River include the area North of the Mouse River Park to Canada, the area from the Mouse River Park to Burlington, and the area from Velva to the Canadian border. The team has developed a set of alternatives that are currently being discussed and analyzed. A public information meeting to address these rural alternatives was held January 30 in Velva. A presentation was given by the engineering team to outline possible alternatives in addressing flood protection throughout the rural reaches. The Rural Alternatives Analysis Report will be completed May 1, 2013.
Per a City of Minot request, the team has prepared a Preliminary Implementation Plan for the portion of the project through the City of Minot. This document provides ideas/recommendations for the project timeline. In addition, the document also analyzes the funding sources for the Grand Forks and Fargo-Moorhead flood protection projects.
The team was also directed to provide continued stakeholder assistance to ensure project understanding and address questions or concerns in these rural areas. The engineering team was also directed to move forward with financial modeling for the project which will provide an analysis of project costs and expenditures throughout a proposed project timeline. The financial modeling stage also includes the analysis of federal and local funding sources, restrictions, revenue generators, etc., in order proceed with the creation of the project.
The engineering team was also requested by the City of Minot to provide an analysis of project costs and expenditures for projects that are constructed at the 27,400 cfs protection level, in addition to 10,000, 15,000, and 20,000 protection levels. That financial analysis, also know as the Preliminary Project Scaling Assessment has been completed and can be located on the homepage.
Development of a Mouse River Basin flood protection project is an extensive undertaking due to the size and scope of the project. There are a number of steps that will contribute to the creation of a final flood protection plan for the Mouse River Basin and those steps are detailed here.
Statement of Purpose and Need
The first step is to define the problem, otherwise known as the development of a purpose and need statement. For the Mouse River Basin flood protection project this was defined at the Startup Workshop at the onset of project development.
The purpose of the project is based on four parallel goals, which together comprise the purpose of the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project (MREFPP). The purpose of the MREFPP is to meet the following four goals:
- Along the Mouse and Des Lacs Rivers within North Dakota, reduce risk of property damage due to flooding from future floods of similar magnitude to the flood of 2011, or otherwise encourage the removal or relocation of at-risk structures from the 2011 flood plain.
- Maintain operation of critical elements of the public transportation system during and after a flood event similar to the 2011 flood.
- Implement risk mitigation strategies that would assist to facilitate an increase in the peak release target flow out of the reservoirs to shorten the duration of overland flooding in agricultural lands throughout the Mouse River Basin.
- Assist in the development of policy objectives that reduce risk of property damage due to flooding within the 2011 flood plain.
The need for action arises from the historic flooding which occurred in the Mouse River Basin in 2011. Despite the existence of flood control systems throughout much of the basin, in excess of 4,000 homes and businesses were damaged and 11,000 people were displaced. Repeated heavy rainfall on saturated basins requiring sustained high releases from the Saskatchewan reservoirs (Rafferty, Boundary, and Alameda) and Lake Darling in North Dakota caused significant agricultural losses on both crop and hay production lands along the Mouse River Basin in North Dakota. The transportation system throughout the Mouse River Basin was severely disrupted. Preliminary estimates of damage exceed one billion dollars. Uncertainty regarding the future is prevalent in the minds of homeowners throughout the basin. While the responses of flooded property owners vary greatly throughout the Mouse River Basin, the general approach by property owners has been to remove flood-damaged contents and to clean, sanitize, dry and establish heat in the structure prior to winter. Many are awaiting the identification of a proposed solution prior to committing to a complete rebuild of their structure(s). The identification of a preferred alternative should take into account the schedule of reaching a resolution regarding the viability of the alternative. Where possible, the identification of a preferred alternative should occur prior to re-occupation of flooded structures within the Mouse River Basin.
Development of Alternative Options
Next, the engineering team develops a number of alternative options by gathering data, stakeholder input and researching/revisiting previous efforts.
During the startup workshop held October 5 - 7, 2011, a number of stakeholders, community and neighborhood representatives and government entities gathered to discuss priorities and share input. This period of discussion and collection of information is the basis for the creation of alternative options. There is also discussion about, and consideration for, previous efforts or ideas to prevent flood impacts in the Mouse River Basin.
Once a list of alternatives has been gathered each of those are analyzed through a number a processes including detailed hydraulic modeling, structural analysis (bridges, flood walls, etc.) and geotechnical analysis (soils).
These in depth analyses will help determine the feasibility of each of the alternatives both on an individual and partnership basis.
From there the team identifies any environmental, social and economic impacts within each of the alternatives.
This phase takes into consideration all of the impacts, both positive and negative, that would occur within each of the alternatives being considered.
After these analysis steps have been completed a preferred alternative will be identified.
Based upon the analysis of all critical impacts, the preferred alternative for the flood protection plan within the Mouse River Basin will become clear and will be used as the recommended option moving forward in the process.
The next step within the process is to secure adequate funding for the recommended alternative.
Cost estimates will be provided along with the recommended alternative and will outline all associated costs for the project. At this point, government officials will look at various sources to try and aid in the funding of the project. Ultimately the funding will more than likely be provided through local, state and federal dollars.
Once the funding is secured, the project can then move into the detailed design phase.
The preferred alternative will dictate the design phase of the project. Specific details of the alternative will determine the number of phases within the design development and the timelines for each of those designs.
Construction will follow the detailed design phase.
Just as the preferred alternative will dictate the design phases, so will it dictate the construction phases of the project. In addition, the design phasing may also have impacts on the construction phasing.
The first step in the construction process is demolition of acquired properties. Once acquisitions have been finalized, this phase of construction may begin.
There are several key components of the process that need to be considered at every step. Public input plays a significant role throughout the process and is considered within every phase. Ongoing interagency coordination between local, state and federal entities is also a key element within the entire process and needs to be included in order to achieve a successful plan.
Preliminary Project Scaling Assessment (document)
November 3, 2011 - Issue Initial Concept Alignment for use during the special Legislative Assembly beginning November 7
November 8 - 10, 2011 - Public Input meetings
November 23, 2011 - Issue Preliminary Alignment and revised cost estimate for public agency use (Contingent upon development and adoption of acquisition policy and associated appropriations)
Week of November 28, 2011 - Public Information meetings (Contingent upon development and adoption of acquisition policy and associated appropriations)
February 29, 2012 - Issue Preliminary Engineering Report
May 1, 2013 - Issue Rural Reaches Alternatives Report
File Size: 1576.4 kb
January 2013 Report
Preliminary Implementation Plan (document)
File Size: 2129.54 kb
Preliminary Implementation Plan for the City of Minot
Rural Alternatives Presentation (document)
File Size: 2323.14 kb
Rural Alternatives Presentation
City Council Diversion Meeting Presentation
File Size: 3305.26 kb
City Council Diversion Meeting Presentation