The Souris River flows from Saskatchewan, Canada, into North Dakota and then back into Canada.
The Souris River in the North Dakota cities of Burlington, Minot, Logan and Sawyer had a flood of record in 2011 with flows of 27,400 cubic feet per second (cfs). These flows devastated the communities and caused evacuations of more than 10,000 residents and millions of dollars in damage to private and public property.
Following the 2011 flood event, North Dakota developed a preliminary engineering report that evaluated alternatives to mitigate flood risks throughout the Souris Basin. The report recommended a flood risk management project that would provide protection up to the 2011 flood of record levels or approximately 27,400 cfs.
As there are several existing federal flood risk management projects within the Souris Basin, the implementation of this plan will require U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ permission under Title 33 U.S.C. 408 of the Rivers and Harbors Appropriation Act of 1899, as amended.
The Souris River Joint Water Resource Board (SRJB) has begun a large engineering and design effort that includes National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance plus hydrologic and hydraulic modeling throughout the project’s current scope, which is defined as the upstream end of the city of Burlington, North Dakota to the downstream end of Minot, North Dakota. In addition, the SRJB has completed detailed design for the construction of three reaches of levees or floodwalls within the city of Minot. NEPA compliance consists of a programmatic environmental impact statement (EIS). The final EIS was published in July 2017, and the record of decision was signed in December 2017. The SRJB held a groundbreaking ceremony on March 28, 2018. Detailed design on future phases of the plan has also begun. These phases include another reach of levee within Minot and the levee/floodwall system around the community of Burlington, North Dakota.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District will review all proposed project documents to ensure the project is in compliance with Section 408 and that the proposed project will not be injurious to the public interest and will not impair the usefulness of any existing federal works.
Title 33 U.S.C. 408 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, as amended.
The Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project will be funded with 100 percent local and state funds.
The SRJB executed a Water Resources Development Act Section 214 agreement in December 2014, which allows for the local entity to provide funding to expedite Corps review of Section 408 alterations.