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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

A Wasteful Flood Study

A Wa$teful Flood Study

To the editor:

Here we go again.

The governing board, the Diversion Authority (DA) of the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management plan, requested the Red River Basin Commission do a study of possible flood reduction by the use of distributed retention.

The Halstead Upstream Retention-Long Term Flood Solutions (HUR-LTFS) is that study of distributed retention as a means to reduce basin wide flooding. This material has been compiled and the full presentation to the public is now postponed. The Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority has been “chomping at the bit” for months to see the results of the completed study. Now we have an announcement: “The HUR-LTFS Implementation Committee meeting that we have scheduled for 22 October 2013, is being postponed until a later date (yet to be determined),” says Lance Yohe.

As the study’s preliminary data shows a larger reduction in runoff due to distributed retention through the whole basin, what is the problem? Perhaps the answer they got was not the answer the Diversion Authority wanted?

This study was to evaluate the retention possibilities in the North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota water sheds. The ‘”water boards/water shed districts” were asked where they thought they could store water. They have completed the studies, but now Lance Yohe of the RRBC is going to have a peer review of the HUR-LTFS study results.

“The reason for this delay is so that the efforts to date can be peer reviewed by federal (USACE) and state (MN DNR and ND SWC) agencies. We need to make certain that everyone is in agreement with the effort and decisions, so that what is happening with HUR is compatible with the FM Flood Protection efforts and the MN EIS.” – (Lance Yohe)

The study is now to be analyzed to see if it is compatible with the FM Diversion? The FM Diversion is to have no distributed retention, and has no provision for any to be included in the plan. If distributed retention can be found to reduce impacts to upstream or downstream interests, or the whole basin for that matter, it does not matter. The USACE has dismissed distributed retention, wholly or in combination with other measures, as a part of an approved plan.

Fargo Diversion Authority Kills Viable Alternatives

Click Here to Read FMUS Study Abandoned by Fargo Diversion Authority in Janunary 2013, Just Prior to Pleading their Case for State Funding for Flood Protection Before the State Legislature in Bismarck.

Fargo Diversion Authority Terminates Viable Alternative Before Feasibility Report is Completed

Click HERE to Read Email - Fargo Diversion Authority Terminates FMUS - Fargo Moorhead Upstream Study that could provide 1.6 feet (19.2 inches) of benefit to Fargo for as little as $400 million. Fargo terminated the study (without Feasibility Report) prior to pleading their case for state tax dollars from the ND State Legislature.


The only possible “compatibility” a study could have with the efforts and decisions (goals) of the FM Diversion is to have no distributed retention.

Here we go again. This study, with the best modeling, best data collection available and participation from all parties is shelved until when? “We still hope to have the meeting this year,” writes Lance Yohe. What we have paid for is, apparently, one more monumental waste of tax dollars and a waste of the hard work of water agencies to put the study together.

Just like the previous efforts, this study has been done with tax dollars and has fallen to the divisive politics of special interests. If and when the results are ever released, we will know what is really going on; for now this is not an open and transparent process.

Trana Rogne
Kindred, ND

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2 Responses to “ A Wasteful Flood Study ”



    “The first step in minimizing future flood damage is to restrict
    development–urban, rural, agricultural, industrial, and commercial–in
    the areas within the flood plain. We urge the communities responsible
    for making land-use decisions to act wisely in this regard, and
    restrict development in areas that are known to be at high flood risk.
    If communities can limit development within the flood plain, the
    largest and most expensive issue related to flood risk management has
    been resolved before it ever has become a problematic issue.”

    Brigadier General Michael J. Walsh.
    Division Commander, Mississippi Valley Division, Army Corps of Engineers.

    “We recognize floods are here to stay and we need to be better at
    managing the risk of even greater events in the future. We need to
    build out of harms way instead of trying to control the inevitable next
    Need to focus on risk management not avoiding the need for flood

    Mark Holsten, Commissioner of the Minnesota
    Department of Natural Resources.

    The FM Diversion Authority has not taken this to heart and still thinks they can out maneuver old mother nature.

  2. Found a gem in the link Trana. in the testimony Dennis Walaker stated “Permanent protection through Fargo, including upstream retention and
    overland flood protection throughout the Fargo-Moorhead area, is needed
    as soon as possible”

    Note the upstream part. WHAT CHANGED? Why are they now sowing FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) from those of us who are working for that.

    Ask your self why delay the Basin Wide Study? Why delay the upstream storage, when Walaker himself testified under oath that it was necessary?

    Why belittle those who advocate the same with vague editorials?

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