After the federal government secured $61.4 million to continue building flood protection in Minot, the Army Corps of Engineers is ready to spring into action.

“We have the resources available to do our hard work; the flood-risk management and help to do our part of the integrated project and I think bring some healing to a decade-long response from 2011,” said U.S Army Corp of Engineers Commander Col. Karl Jansen.

The federal funding will allow the construction of the Maple Diversion channel and levee — a huge part of the flood protection project.

During a visit to Minot Wednesday, Sen. John Hoeven and local officials shared that more than 200 homes will be directly protected when the flood diversion channel is constructed.

Ward County Chairman of the Souris River Joint Board David Ashley said this big step impacts more than just Minot, as the flood protection project along the Mouse River includes protection for surrounding areas like Burlington and Velva.

“What that means to us is not only are we going to basically button up the north Minot and give them the flood control that is needed But it will give us an opportunity to start looking forward and have funds available for a basin-wide approach. We’ve got a lot of things completed but we’re still working on some things,” said Ashley.

Engineers on the project estimate it could take up to five years to finish construction.

More than $700 million in federal loans and grants have gone into flood relief in the Minot area since the catastrophic flood in 2011.