Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Geography & Geographic Information Science


This study attempts to identify the roles of three federal agencies in the Grand Forks Flood of 1997. The three agencies were selected for the scope of their impact on the disaster as well as their impact on the community. The United States Army Corps of Engineers, National Weather Service, and Federal Emergency Management Agency contributed either to the the attempts to prevent flooding or flood recovery or both.

It is appropriate to determine both the physical factors that cause flooding and the agency policies that govern the ways in which people cope with disaster because these two are intricately linked in the ecosystem of the flood plain. The Grand Forks case study shows the connection between policy, land use, and the forces of nature.

The results of this research show that the concept of flood control at the local level must be woven into basin-wide management plans to be successful. The process is by nature political, so it requires leadership, accurate information, and public participation.

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