New Flood Control System a Success during Recent Red River Flood in East Grand Forks

Share Article

The flood control system established in East Grand Forks after the devastating 1997 Red River flood was put to the test this weekend when the Red River crested at 49.85 feet – and passed with flying colors.

“Some of the closures had two to three-and-a-half feet of water against them,” said Scott Gravseth, Distribution Superintendent at East Grand Forks Water and Light. “Overall we observed good performance with minimal seepage.”

The city installed the Invisible Flood Control Wall (IFCW) in response to the 1997 flood in which the sandbags and levees didn’t hold, submerging Main Street in four feet of water and causing an estimated $500 million in damage. City officials said they opted for the IFCW to preserve the aesthetics of the community, since it is only erected in the event of a flood. The main section of the IFCW that runs along the river in front of the Blue Moose Bar and Grill, Applebee’s, and Cabela’s, was installed in under 8 hours.

“Obviously, we’re very proud to have helped protect the great city of East Grand Forks,” said John Fryklund, Director of Marketing for Flood Control America, which is the manufacturer and distributor of the IFCW. “And the city of East Grand Forks can be proud to be protected by a system manufactured entirely in the United States by American workers.”

Because of the East Grand Forks project, the IFCW was awarded the “Seven Wonders of Engineering in Minnesota Award for Distinguished Engineering Achievement 2000” by the Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers, and was recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce Economic Development Administration as one of its five major “success stories” in the 20th century.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

John Fryklund
Flood Control America
Email >
Visit website