Changing Face Of FloodingAfter a record flood last year in parts of the Red River Valley, some of the top flooding experts in the area met today to talk about "The Changing Face of Flooding."
After a record flood last year in parts of the Red River Valley, some of the top flooding experts in the area met today to talk about "The Changing Face of Flooding."
Around 350 people were at today's Red River Basin Land and Water International Summit Conference at the Alerus Center.
One of the speakers is getting input for long-term flood solutions, including in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
“Fargo-Moorhead is a huge metropolitan area for our region, and to lose that whole area to a flood would be devastating to the economy and the region,” says Lance Yohe, the executive director of the Red River Basin Commission.
Yohe spoke at the commission's conference today about long-term flood solutions and making sure people downstream from the Fargo-Moorhead area aren't negatively impacted by new flood protection.
“If you do a diversion, even the Corps models will show, there will be some kind of impact downstream for a while,” says Yohe.
Yohe says the question is how large the impact will be and what could be done to offset that problem. He says that's why it's important to get a variety of opinions, like from people at today's conference.
Bethany Kurz from the Energy and Environmental Research Center says, “I managed the “Waffle Project” at the EERC for five years, where we were looking at a more distributed flood mitigation approach. I think it's critical for the economic vitality of our region to have flood mitigation.”
Lynn Schlueter with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department says, “We want to have a good resource and one that does work with public needs.”
As people at the conference this week make their voices heard on flooding issues, the commission is coming up with a recommendation for cities across the Red River Valley.
“There's a lot of complex issues that are all inter-related, and somehow or another we need to get all our arms around it together, collectively,” says Yohe.
The conference continues Wednesday and Thursday at the Alerus Center. It is open to the public.