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Fargo's Long-Term Flood Protection Plan

Road Map to Certified Flood Protection in the City of Fargo

The City of Fargo is working diligently to protect the community from future flooding and has created this roadmap as a guide toward achieving certified flood protection. This effort includes a wide spectrum of flood related projects such as building permanent dikes, purchasing flood prone properties, providing incentive programs and fortifying existing flood protection.

Current FEMA 100-year flood elevation: 38.4 feet.
•      Proposed FEMA 100-year flood elevation: 39.4 feet (adoption date to be determined).

Corps of Engineers suggested 100-year flood elevation: 42.4 feet.
•      This is based on hydraulic modeling for current wet cycle in valley.

•      Suggests that the river flows in a 100-year event will be 37,000 cfs.
   o      The 2009 flood flows were 29,000 cfs (equivalent to a 50 year flood)

Steps taken or to be taken by the City of Fargo to provide real and certifiable flood protection:

•      Identify and inventory existing platted/developed neighborhoods that fall below proposed FEMA 100-year elevation either by individual lot elevations or perimeter protection.

•      Adopt ordinance for all new subdivisions to meet Corps of Engineers suggested flood elevation standard - 42.5 feet and setback requirements from rivers and legal drains.

•      Prepare engineering studies and plans to protect existing neighborhoods to Corps standards of 42.5 feet.

•      Develop incentive plan to support individual homeowners to protect lots to 42.5 feet.

•      Consider earthen levees wherever possible. Use alternative flood protection measures only if earth levee option is not feasible due to soil conditions or proximity to homes using the Corps guidelines for setback requirements and commonly accepted engineering practices.

•      Recognize that existing subdivisions that are either protected or lot elevations are at or above the proposed FEMA 100-year event but not to 42.5 feet will receive a lower priority for protection until the other lower lying lots and subdivisions are addressed.

•      Develop plans to protect property south of I-94 along the Red River and legal drains; north of I-94 to 5th Avenue South; 5th Avenue South to 6th Avenue North; 6th Ave North to the north of city limits along the Red River.

•      Prioritize neighborhood projects relative to floodplain elevations, cost of benefit relating to buyouts versus protection (earth levees versus structural solutions versus buyouts), and availability of funding.

•      Tree removal for flood control will be accepted with a requirement that there be a 2 for 1 replacement policy.

•      Projects without rights-of-way issues will receive higher priority in levee development.