Minot, state leaders work with Army Corps on flood protection funding

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MINOT, N.D. - The Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Plan is now one step closer to authorization for phase MI-4, better known as the Maple Diversion.

Minot leaders met with Senator John Hoeven and the Chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, among other state and federal officials Tuesday, to brainstorm ways of funding the entire flood protection plan.

Phases one through three are already under construction, but there are still five more phases that need funding.

Semonite emphasized that while the signing was a big step closer to authorization for the Maple Diversion, the protection plan won't work unless all eight phases are built.

“The key thing is, this is a system. The Senator made a great point today. Don't go in and try to fix one piece of it. You have to go through and fix what is really the eight phases,” said Semonite.

The leaders celebrated the signing of the chief’s report, which is needed to allow for funding for phase MI-4.

The final step to fully authorizing the Maple Diversion will come when congress passes the next WRDA bill, most likely coming in 2020.

Congress will decide how and when to fund the project.

“It's about getting a plan in place for all eight phases and getting a timeline to get the work done, and of course coordinating with FEMA and the flood insurance piece. That's why we had all the players of the federal agencies here in place today,” said Hoeven.

After the meeting, the group headed out to see the progress on phases one through three.

Phases two and three will be done this year. Meanwhile, phase one, the largest portion, is expected to be finished by the end of next year.