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WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 05, 2009, 08:54 AM

Area leaders to ask for permanent protection

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Governors, Mayors, and members of Congress will try and convince lawmakers in Washington, D.C., there's a need for permanent flood protection in the Red River Valley. Much of the time will be spent with the Corps of Engineers who will head the potential future projects. In terms of permanent solutions this is where the magic needs to happen, along the Red River, on both sides which is why Minnesota and North Dakota have joined forces to rally support on Capitol Hill.

By: Kelsey Soby, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Governors, Mayors, and members of Congress will try and convince lawmakers in Washington, D.C., there's a need for permanent flood protection in the Red River Valley.

Much of the time will be spent with the Corps of Engineers who will head the potential future projects. In terms of permanent solutions this is where the magic needs to happen, along the Red River, on both sides which is why Minnesota and North Dakota have joined forces to rally support on Capitol Hill.

On the list of things to bring on their D.C. trip are these images, these people's stories and the faces of those who are urgently asking for help that is permanent.

“They need to understand that we're concerned and they were very impressed with what we accomplished here.”

The group, to include engineers and leaders from Fargo, Moorhead, Breckenridge, Ada, Clay and Cass County will get an update on the U.S. Corps of Engineers study of the Red River Valley which looks at different permanent flood protection options like dikes and diversions. It's supposed to be complete by December 2010.

“I’m hoping that by showing them we have the congressional support, that we might be able to expedite the process.”

Local leaders will also have time to make comments and requests, while they've been turned down before; Walaker says a new administration and a stronger national awareness of our region's needs will help their cause.

“This is a painful period. If they can just show us there's something on the horizon, that's what we want out of this meeting.”

Neither Mayor Walaker nor Voxland believes they'll leave D.C. with any answers or details on a future plan. They say they're goal is to make sure they're showing congress that both states want permanent protections as soon as possible and that they are ready to work together.

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