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Erik Burgess, Published August 14 2013

Feds will pay Fargo $1.7 million for spring flooding

FARGO – The federal government will give Fargo about $1.7 million to help cover the costs of spring flooding.

Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer made the announcement in a joint press release this morning.

The funding is from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and will help defray costs before, during and after the flood, including sandbag operations, police traffic control and transportation of volunteers.

Due to a late melt and deep snowpack, the Red River was initially projected to hit near-record levels. After an ideal melt, it crested at 33.32 feet on May 1, far below the 2009 record of 40.84 feet.

The city still mounted a costly flood battle in preparation for a potentially record flood, making over a million new sandbags in conjunction with Cass County. Volunteers logged over 40,000 hours making the new bags at Sandbag Central.

The state’s congressional delegation wrote to President Barack Obama in May to press for approval of the state’s request for an emergency declaration, the release said.

“As a delegation, we worked together to see that Fargo would qualify for federal funding to help share the costs that went along with such a quick and robust emergency response,” the delegation said in the release. “And we worked to make sure the city would be able to receive the money in a timely manner.”