Urban Fold

Learning From Grand Forks' 'Flood Of The Century'

The Planning Commissioner's Journal offers free access to an article about the devastating flood that hit theGrand Forks metro area in 1997 and local recovery efforts.

From Wayne Senville, editor of The Planning Commissioner's Journal: We thought some of the insights in a short article we ran last year,Beyond the Flood of the Century, about the devastating flood that hit theGrand Forks metro area in 1997 and the local recovery efforts, might be ofinterest to planners, planning commissioners, and others in light of the incredible flooding in the Gulf Coast region. The article was co-authored by Grand Forks planning commissioner and professor Robert Kweit and Mary Grisez Kweit (also a professor at the University of North Dakota).

From the article: "Unfortunately, in 1997 both GrandForks and neighboring East GrandForks, Minnesota, were inundated by a54 foot flood. Ninety percent of the populationhad to be evacuated. In GrandForks, a city of about 50,000 residents,two-thirds of the city suffered flood damage,while in East Grand Forks, a city ofabout 8,000 people, all but 8 homes sufferedflood damage. The damage coststotaled nearly $2 billion dollars.Grand Forks has long sought to mitigatethe effect of floods by buildingdikes. Parks were established along theriver in many areas to allow for a bufferzone when the inevitable flooding wouldoccur. However, in Grand Forks, as inmany communities across the country,development has often occurred in problematic locations."

[Editor's note: The link below is to a 300KB PDF.]

Thanks to Chris Steins

Full Story: Beyond the Flood of the Century

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