At their 10/13/15 meeting held in Barnesville, the Board of Managers, Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD), received a plaque from Mayor Del Rae Williams recognizing their contributions to the City of Moorhead Comprehensive Flood Mitigation Improvements for which the City received the 2016 Project of the Year award from the City Engineers Association of Minnesota. She thanked the BRRWD for their work and cooperation over the years. City Manager Michael Redlinger also thanked the BRRWD for their work with the City of Moorhead and their work throughout the region. Manager Anderson thanked the City for the outstanding work that they have done on flood protection over the years, and Manager Van Amburg, who is a Moorhead resident, was also gratified by the work that has been done by the City.
Dr. Robert Zimmerman, Moorhead City Engineer, gave a presentation on the City’s Flood Mitigation Improvements. He noted that six of the top ten flood events on the Red River in Moorhead have occurred between 1997 and 2011. The record flood of 2009 required emergency protection including: nine miles of sandbag levee, nine miles of clay levee, 61 emergency auxiliary pumps, and numerous sanitary and storm sewer plugs. Direct surface flooding and storm sewer flooding put 3,800 properties at risk, required 2,000 households to evacuate and damaged 300 properties. The City began planning for flood mitigation immediately after the 2009 flood crest. Their goals were to: reduce emergency flood protection measures and flood risk up to 42.5 feet, reduce emergency response time, keep the community in business during a major flood event, send a positive message to businesses and homeowners and avoid the continued financial burden and risk to the City and State. They used an incremental and adaptive approach to reach these goals through strong State and local support. Funding for these projects, which has totaled $105.2 million, came largely from the State of Minnesota through their Flood Damage Reduction Grant Program. Additional funding came from local funds, Federal funds and the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Over half of the funds were used for the acquisition of flood prone properties, with the remaining funds going to infrastructure improvements. The mitigation projects included: the acquisition of 247 properties, all of which were voluntary, 67 property easements, 12.1 miles of levees and floodwalls, three removable floodwall closures, nineteen stormwater pump stations, 78 stormwater gates and five sanitary pump station upgrades. Most of the mitigation projects have received FEMA Accreditation. These improvements have reduced the emergency measures needed during a flood event. At a 42.5’ flood crest, the miles of temporary levees required has been reduced from 9 to just over 2 compared to the 2009 conditions. Similarly, the number of sandbags needed has been reduced from over 4 million to about 400,000, and the preparation time required has been reduced from 10 days to less than 4.
Other business included:
The next meeting of the Board of Managers, BRRWD, is scheduled for Monday, March 28, 2016, at 7:00 PM in the Barnesville office, located at 1303 4th AVE NE. All meetings are open to the public. For more information, please visit our website at www.brrwd.org.