Flood Safe Guards to Minimize Future Threats

Fargo, ND, and surrounding communities, is home to more than 100,000 residents and rests in the Red River Valley. The Red River Valley consists of low elevations and fertile soil, making it ideal for farming purposes. Thousands of years ago the area was under water in a glacial lake known as Lake Agassiz, which stretched from northern Manitoba, Canada south through North Dakota. The glacial melting created an enormous lake and helped form the flat landscape that makes the valley famous today for its agricultural history, along with its flooded past.

In 2009, Fargo and Grand Forks, ND residents experienced record flood levels due to the frozen ground, coupled with heavy rain and quickened snow melt. Initial estimates predicted Fargo would experience flood levels near 35 feet, however the levels were eventually increased to 43 feet.

Areas south of Fargo near the River Vili development was one of the first areas recognized as being in the Red River’s floodplain. After the 2009 flood, the City of Fargo decided to act on a previous study proposing enhanced safety measures and flood protection in south Fargo.

KLJ, in conjunction with City of Fargo, constructed earthen levees, concreted floodwalls, storm sewer improvements and other associated features. The additional flood protection features will help minimize the amount of emergency measures needed to protect properties in the River Vili development in future flood events.

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