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Why do we need it?

about the project

On June 25, 2011, the Mouse River flowed under Minot’s Broadway Bridge at a record rate of 27,400 cubic feet per second (cfs) – more than five times the rate that existing channels and levees had been designed for. Not since 1882 had flows in excess of 20,000 cfs been seen.  For weeks during the 2011 flood, water levels were too high for passenger and emergency vehicles to safely cross numerous area bridges. After flood waters receded, many bridges remained out of service for months while damages were assessed and repaired.

The record-breaking flow overwhelmed most flood fighting efforts along the entire reach of the Mouse River, causing extensive damages to homes, businesses, public facilities, infrastructure, farms and ranches. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), 4,700 residential, commercial and public structures in Renville, Ward and McHenry Counties sustained building and content damages totaling more than $690 million. If emergency flood fighting measures had not been implemented, structure damages would have totaled roughly $900 million. Infrastructure damages totaled hundreds of millions of dollars in the city of Minot alone. 


The rural reaches of the Mouse River valley in North Dakota have endured frequent flood damages over the past two decades. Flooding has had significant impacts on the rural residents who make their livelihood along the river. Impacts from flooding in the rural areas are varied and widespread, including crop and hay losses, damage to structures, impacts to livestock, and loss of commerce due to inundated roads and bridges.


Photo courtesty S. Sipma

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