Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune today met with Mayor Dave Munson of Sioux Falls where the two discussed the importance of the city's flood control project. The need to complete the project has been elevated as a result of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) plan to revise the city's 100-year floodplain. Without the protection of additional flood control measures, 1,600 homes and businesses will be required to purchase federal flood insurance because they would be in the 100-year floodplain.

"This morning Mayor Munson and I discussed the current pace of construction regarding the Big Sioux Flood Control Project," said Thune. "During our meeting, I outlined a new possibility that would allow the city to complete the flood control project in the next few years and be reimbursed by the federal government for its portion of the project. While I plan to continue working to secure federal funding to help with completion of this project, the proposal that I outlined today with the mayor would expedite completion and benefit the city by reducing the potential impact that homeowners and businesses would face if they were required to buy federal flood insurance."

The Big Sioux Flood Control Project calls for the construction of a dam above the confluence of the Big Sioux River and Skunk Creek - as well as elevating the levees along the banks of the Big Sioux River and Skunk Creek, and raising the 41st Street bridge. These improvements will ensure that the necessary flood protection for homes and businesses are in place to prevent the estimated $750 million in property damage that would result from a major flood event.

Roughly 20 years ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has determined that the original flood control project in Sioux Falls was ineffective due to two significant flood events in 1957 and 1969. In 1996, Congress authorized the construction of the Big Sioux Flood Control Project with total federal costs of $35 million. Since the project was authorized by Congress, $15.45 million has been provided by the federal government. However, $21.7 million in federal funding is still needed to complete the project - not counting the city's 25 percent matching contribution.