A conceptual map of the ring dike proposal
A conceptual map of the ring dike proposal

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, in conjunction with the Flood Diversion Board of Authority, is considering the construction of a ring dike to protect the communities of Oxbow, Hickson and Bakke, ND, from water that would be stored upstream of Fargo-Moorhead as part of the Diversion Project’s operation. The ring dike would generally be between 9 and 12 feet high with some areas potentially being higher depending on determination of a final alignment. The ring dike would dramatically reduce the number of home buyouts needed to build the Project. The areas within the ring dike would have protection well in excess of the 100-year flood.

The Corps has constructed numerous levee systems and ring levee projects within the Red River Basin. If a ring levee around Oxbow, Hickson and Bakke is built, it will be designed and constructed using similar methods as previous projects and will ensure the safety of all residents. The top of ring levee will be at an elevation of approximately 926, which includes 4 feet of freeboard over the 100-year and 500-year water surface elevation of approximately 922. Below is a list of other Federally authorized Corps projects in the Red River Basin that provide similar flood damage reduction benefits through construction of levees.

Halstad, MN: The project provides the community with an earthen levee encircling the city and associated interior drainage features. It was designed to provide flood damage protection up to a 250-year flood event. The levee system is approximately 2.4 miles, with heights varying from 5 to 12 feet. The project was completed in 1986. Since construction, the levee has prevented approximately $9,440,000 in damages.

Grand Forks, ND, and East Grand Forks, MN: The project included floodwalls and levees to provide permanent flood damage protection after the devastating 1997 flood. The project included 30 miles of levees and 3 miles of floodwalls set back from the river. There are essentially two ring levees in East Grand Forks; the levees on the Grand Forks side tie into high ground. Levee heights vary between 5 to 20 feet with some areas at 30 and 45 feet high. The project was completed in 2007 at a total estimated cost of $394,000,000. Since construction, the project has prevented approximately $1 billion in damages.

Oslo, MN: Oslo is protected from flood damage by an earthen levee encircling the village and associated interior drainage facilities. The levee is 3.2 miles long with an average height of 10 feet. Construction was completed in 1976 at a cost of $2 million. Since construction, the levee has prevented approximately $72,420,000 in damages.

Pembina, ND: The project is a combination of a floodwall approximately 2.8 miles long, a levee that encircles the city, and associated interior drainage facilities. The levee has a maximum height of 20 feet with an average height of 8 feet. Since construction, the levee has prevented approximately $87,850,000 in damages.

Emerson, Manitoba, Canada and Noyes, MN: The project consists of a ring levee around the communities of Noyes and Emerson. The three levees provide a complete and continuous levee system around the two communities (one 3,800 foot-long levee at Noyes, MN, a 2,000 foot-long International levee in MN that runs parallel to the International boundary and upgrading the existing levee in Emerson, Manitoba). The project was designed to provide 100-year level protection. The levee heights vary between 7-12 feet. The project was completed in the 1990s.

Alvarado, MN: The project involves a system of levees and floodwalls to protect flood prone areas of the city that lie along the Snake River in Marshall County, Minnesota. The barrier is approximately 2 miles long and has an average height of 5 feet. The project was designed to the 100-year flood event. The definitive project report was finished

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