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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Douglas Christianson Comments to the USACE re: Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion

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USACE Douglas Christensen Comments FEIS Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion

I am writing in regards to the Fargo – Moorhead Diversion study / Plan.

I live on the west side of the west tie back levee. This levee is designed to keep water from going farther west. The problem is all are drainage from west of this levee goes to the east northeast and gets into the Wild Rice River. In a meeting held in Kindred in March, this concern was brought up and the respond was this had been over looked after that meeting I got a hold of one of the engineers from Moore Eng. And Keith Bernt Cass County engineer. They said we’ll just dig a ditch on the west side of the west side of Cass County road #17 and west of the tie back levee and run the water to the north to a inlet weir. Then in a meeting held in Kindred on Mary 24, 2011, in Arron Snyder’s purposed plan that was in there. How many more of these things have been over looked?

Now my question is how large will that inlet weir be to take all the water that normally goes east from the Sheyenne River to the tie back levee and all the way north to the purposed diversion, and will the diversion let water in when the flows are high.

The other thing to remember the Sheyenne is normally 7 to 10 days later than the Red & Wild Rice Rivers so that water has a place to go and even then the outlet culverts we have now don’t handle it well.

With the diversion / dam holding water back to let it through the canal orderly the water from the Wild Rice & Red will still be there so the Sheyenne will have no place to go and will build up on everyone west of the tie back levee. This may force water back on Kindred and Davenport N. D. plus many farmsteads that normally don’t flood. How many more buyouts or ring dikes will that take that are not figured into the cost of the project as the digging of the ditch west of the tie back levee wasn’t? It never ends!

Then there is talk of recreation benefits, as I have seen in other projects and flood control do not work together I repeat do not work together. If that is what it takes to make the projects benefit social, forget it. If recreation is to be a part of what type where and how high would the pool level have to be maintained? What effect would that have on summer drainage and would it be emptied in the fall to make sure there is room for spring run off.

May of the roads and highways will be flooded in each event, is the project going to have money to repair these each year, the township don’t and I don’t think the counties do either. Then I-29 will have to be raised several feet which will make very deep ditches and a dangerous situation.

This project always states they have to go to 500 year event yet, do you realize how much more water and how far out another 5 or 6 feet, more or less, that will take. The elevation of this area is flat, that amount of water would spread for miles. That also brings to mind that the engineers are trying to build a pool on this flat surface. The place to hold water is in the natural valleys which has been identified and could do considerable good.

The number of homes, businesses, communities and schools that would be affected goes on indefinitely and so do the costs.

In my mind this has to stop and look at what is being done and how it can be done better. A big part of the homes and farmsteads are high ground and don’t flood now, this is Fargo – Moorhead’s further growth area, part of their cities in years to come, and it’s about to be destroyed.

I also think the costs are going to way exceed the estimates and can the sale tax generate enough. If not how will it be funded. Think about it and not force a white elephant on the people.

Addition to the previous four pages, Minot flooded and Fargo took that ball and ran. Saying look what could happen. Yes maybe it could bet very unlikely because Fargo is not in a valley as is Minot. Fargo is flat land and spreads out so it is not a wall of water coming at you.

It has been brought out that if Fargo flooded it could be six billion damage. That’s a wide open number.

What is the cost of loss of income and tax base to the area if this project goes through. That would be every year and not a maybe. There is a large number of area that will be out of production, whether it floods or not. The ditch / dam all the tie backs and more that’s acres where no more production or tax base will be generated, forever.

The Federal government talks about shortage of funds. Fargo hasn’t had a 100 year flood yet but now they want to be protected to 500 year, do they even know what number a 500 year flood is. The next thing can the federal help protect all the communities through out the country that has had flooding to 500 year protection. Looks like you better start looking for a lot of money.

Fargo – Moorhead needs protection but not at the cost of destroying many communities.

Moorhead has been doing a good job of protecting themselves. Fargo is working on it and maybe have most done before this project can even get started. Also the diversion project should slow down and look more at the whole region and work with the Red River Basin. They have a lot of studies and places to hold water that will do all good.

Earlier I mentioned recreation where and how is that to be done, they must plan on holding a body of water some place is that the staging areas. In most talks they say the water will go down and can still be planted and farmed, if recreation is included there must be area that won’t be drained and be farmable.

In one meeting the cost was questioned and the answer was the project allowed 20% cost over run plus 5% per year increase for life of project. If project last 10 years as purposed, that’s at least 70%, now that’s real money and is this affordable to the federal and or local sponsors.

In one area that is to be flooded Cass County Rural Water has a station and wells, has that been look at as to contamination.

How about all the rural wells are they going to be cap off.

In about 2 more years the city of Moorhead, MN won’t need protection from this project as they have been doing a good job of their own protection, in fact the tend of October they mayor made the statement that in two year if the river is high we’ll be able to drive to it and just view.

In the 1st week of October I was on a trip, we went by Omaha, Neb. And Council Bluffs, Iowa areas, there was a very large area of destruction, I bet they would like 500 year protection also, is it going to happen.

Why did that happen, was it because to much water was being held back for recreation and they a large amount of snow melted.

Bismarck & Minot, ND had the same thing, does flood control and recreation mix?

Senator John Hoven and others are questioning management and releases, is this going to happen if the Fargo – Moorhead diversion / Dam comes in.

The Fargo – Moorhead met with the Army Corp of Engineers and presented their case which was received well and thought to be a good project. I hope they weren’t just looking at it as a stimulus project to create a lot of jobs to help the economy. Also in this case it was only one side the Corp was hearing from.

I hope you don’t think I am picking on the Corp, but please be sure before moving forward.

Thanks a lot for this chance to air my thoughts.

Douglas Christianson
Kindred, N.D.

Douglas Christianson
16033 53rd ST. SE
Kindred, ND 58051

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