Senator Franken Visits The F-M - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Senator Franken Visits The F-M

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Minnesota Senator Al Franken took a trip up to the Red River Valley to support the area before this spring's expected flood. He toured both Fargo and Moorhead to see what improvements have been made, and what could still be done.

After private meetings with city officials, Senator Franken was taken around the town, to be shown what plans the cities have done to prepare for future floods. And even though he's impressed, he says there is still work that needs to be done.

Earlier in 2010 Al Franken said, "The only good thing about this happening pretty much every year is that you get good at it, and they've gotten really good at it." And he still believe's it.

As the Senator took his tour, passing by the pumping stations and dikes, Moorhead Mayor Mark Voxland and city workers couldn't help but be proud.

"I'm so proud of the staff that we have," Voxland says, "That's put together this project. And now to be able to look at a possible 41 foot crest and not have that sinking pit feeling in my stomach like I did in '09, but to know that we have this team that's created a level of safety is just phenomenal."

Moorhead City Manager Mike Redlinger agrees, "I think that reaction is something we hear from a lot of people they are just surprised, and really pleasantly surprised to see that so much has been accomplished in such a short amount of time."

They are proud to show the Senator what the dollars have been put into.

"They now have a plan for every elevation for as things happen and they know what they're doing." Says Senator Franken, "I'm very impressed with what they are doing here in Moorhead, I'm very impressed with the cooperation with here in the basin."

Community leaders hope the tour will also help with updating the Flood Diversion Project.

"Even despite all these good projects and despite of what happened there still is a need for the diversion project, here in Moorhead and in Fargo obviously." Redlinger says, "And so it's good for federal officials to get out, and see what's happening in the local communities, and know there's still a lot of work that's happening, even despite all the progress that's been made."

Saturday showed Senator Franken what the community has worked on together to be prepared.

"They've gotten it down to a science. And that's what I'm impressed with." Senator Franken laughs.

He says his main concern is the weather. He's afraid of what happens if the area gets too much precipitation, but says he believes both cities have done well at preparing. Franken says the senate will be bringing up the F-M Diversion Project soon.

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