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Grand Forks flood work will protect 77% of floodplain properties by April: city staff

Just over three-quarters of floodplain properties in Grand Forks will be flood protected in time for spring.

In an update to city council Monday, staff behind the Granby and Kettle River flood prevention project say 77 per cent of the $98 million in Grand Forks property will be protected by April.

Recovery Manager Graham Watt says it’s been especially busy recently.

“There’s a lot going on. In fact, November was, despite the weather, probably our biggest month so far. We achieved over $2.5 million in progress,” Watt said.

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There are nine sections of the downtown flood wall to complete while four areas of the dike in North Ruckle still need to be tackled.

One section is the demountable wall on 2nd Street, which arrived from Germany this week. It should be done later this month and then staff will be trained to install it if a flood is coming.

The other is a section on 1st Street where a water main needs to be dug up once a larger 14-inch main to service Interfor is online.

The final two are tie-ins to the earth berm on the Interfor site, that should be done in January.

Watt explained the areas for the sheet pile metal wall were all dug out beforehand. While it added more cost up front, the result is there have been no costly refusals during installation.

In North Ruckle, there are still 30-40 homes that need to be demolished but hazardous materials assessments need to be done first.

The city projects it will have spent $49.8 million dollars on the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) project by spring. There has been $38 million spent as of the end of October on construction, land purchases and property improvements.

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