Capitol Hill reactions today to signed chief’s report

FARGO – Following news of a signed chief’s report for the F-M diversion project, North Dakota’s and Minnesota’s representatives on Capitol Hill released statements in support of the Army Corps’ decision. Here’s what they had to say:

Read in Wednesday’s Forum more about the next steps in the process and how these federal lawmakers will play a role in the Red River diversion’s future.

Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D.

“Without permanent flood protection in place, families and businesses in the Fargo-Moorhead region will continue to battle regular floods and face tremendous uncertainty as they work to plan for the future. Permanent flood protection for the Fargo-Moorhead area must be a priority and the Corps’ approval of this report is a critical step in moving forward with the locally preferred flood control plan.  Providing the Fargo-Moorhead region with permanent flood protection is critical to protect these communities as much as possible against the threat of future, devastating flood events and give these residents the certainty and security they need.”

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.

“This is another important step in the process of securing permanent flood protection for the Fargo-Moorhead region. This comprehensive, permanent flood protection project is part of the locally preferred plan. It has the backing of the local community, surrounding counties and State, and now has the backing of the Corps. This diversion project is vital. It reduces the flood risk to over 200,000 people. It provides the protection this community needs, and its approval should now be a priority for Congress.”

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.

“I am very pleased that the chief’s report has been signed.  It is an important step in moving toward much-needed flood protection for the communities of Fargo and Moorhead.  A major flood would be devastating to these communities.   I will work with my colleagues in the Minnesota and North Dakota Congressional delegations to obtain authorization for the project and to secure funding.”

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D.

“The Army Corps of Engineers and the cities of Fargo-Moorhead have put a tremendous amount of work into creating a comprehensive plan that will provide much needed flood protection for the area. Its approval marks another step forward in the process of moving this plan from paper to reality, and now we can push forward in pursuing federal authorization and funding for this project. The growing community of Fargo and Cass County has enormous potential. We need these protections in place to provide certainty and security for families and businesses whose homes and livelihoods are threatened by an unpredictable river. However, we also need to make sure we continue to do everything we can to reduce the impact the permanent protection measures will make on existing homes, businesses and land, and we need to work to find cost savings along the way.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

“This is a major step forward for this critical project. The Chief’s Report shows the commitment of local leaders to craft permanent flood protection for residents and businesses in Fargo-Moorhead. I will continue to work to address the concerns of other communities upstream and work across state and party lines with our congressional delegations and state and local officials to get this project completed.”