U.S. District Court Judge John A. Tunheim Thursday placed a temporary injunction on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the FM Area Diversion Board of Authority, forcing all construction work on the FM Area Diversion Project to cease.
“I’m disappointed the Judge ruled against our city, our businesses and our homeowners,” Moorhead Mayor and Vice Chair of the Board Del Rae Williams said. “I hope this ruling will help bring the MDNR back to the table to discuss how to move forward on permanent flood protection for Moorhead and Fargo.”
The court concluded that “there is no question that communities along the Red River, particularly Fargo and Moorhead, need permanent flood protection.” The ruling also stated “The Court strongly encourages all parties to work to agree on a flood protection project that can serve the interests of both states and the affected communities.”
“This ruling delays the protection of every family, business, and home in our community,” Fargo Mayor and Chair of the Board Tim Mahoney said. “We will keep working hard toward establishing flood protection for the Fargo and Moorhead communities, hopefully we can do that in partnership with Minnesota.”
Construction on the Project began this spring, but will now be stopped.
“We will need to consult with the Corps over what changes in the federal project can be made consistent with federal law. My expectation is that this ruling will be immediately appealed as it is estimated that the cost of construction increases the total cost by $60 Million a year and we simply cannot live with that level of financial risk, or the risk to public safety of not having protection,” Mahoney said.