When the Fargo Diversion Authority and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers chose to manufacture the EOE (Expert Opinion Elicitation) datum to justify never before seen Fargo, ND flood conditions…, they really tied their hands in the big picture. Keep in mind that without the proposed dam and staging reservoir Fargo could not get the cost/benefit ratio above .65 (read cited source), which would not fly in Washington.
Moving the impacts upstream is a false argument, since a little better than half of the staging and storage being sought by the Fargo Diversion Authority already exists within the natural flood plain south of Fargo, ND. But there’s a problem! The water from the natural flood plain that is being relocated onto upstream and downstream property owners comes from the area that Fargo has always had their eye on for future development. So why would Vanyo and the Fargo Diversion Authority try and mislead downstream people into believing the impacts have gone away. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Hydraulics and Hydrology report Drayton, ND could see as much as 16.944 inches more water than during the record crest of 1997.
The creation of an “alternate benchmark” to support the proposed Fargo Dam and FM Diversion project cannot be used arbitrarily for Fargo’s benefit to the detriment of all others outside Fargo’s jurisdictional boundaries.
So when Fargo Diversion Authority chairman Darrell Vanyo testified in Bismarck September 24th, 2014 in front of the ND Legislative Budget Section to solicit funding he was rather fast and loose with the facts that simply don’t add up in the real world. Albeit, the testimony provided by Vanyo was most likely written via a group effort laced with political public relations talking points, however, this doesn’t absolve the orator from checking the facts and using a little common sense before fully owning the misrepresentations being given to ND lawmakers.
Read for yourself:
Darrell Vanyo Testimony to ND Legislative Budget Section 9-24-2014
Flood protection for the Fargo metro area cannot be accomplished without creating impacts on land elsewhere. There is simply too much water. The design of this Project has been altered and refined many times over several years to determine how best to accommodate this. The Project map located in with this testimony includes an area to the south referred to as the Staging Area. The Staging Area is an integral part of the Project that makes flood protection possible for metro area by eliminating impacts downstream. It is also the most controversial piece of the Project.
Using USGS datum and the Corps 100 year flood event data found in the September 2013 Appendix D Hydraulics and Hydrology report, the impacts don’t appear to have gone away as Darrell Vanyo claimed in Bismarck.
|Potential Downstream Impacts Caused by
Fargo Dam and FM Diversion Flood Protection
All Elevations Reference 1988 NAVD
|Gage Location & Number||Base
|Drayton, ND USGS Gage 05092000||756.178||801.728||803.14||+ 16.944 inches|
|Oslo, MN USGS Gage 05083500||773.769||812.139||813.26||+ 13.452 inches|
|Grand Forks, ND USGS Gage 05082500||780.070||** 829.930||833.40||+ 41.64 inches|
|Thompson, ND USGS Gage 05070000||780.076||845.256||847.58||+ 27.888 inches|
|Halstad, MN USGS Gage 05064500||827.739||868.479||869.09||+ 7.332 inches|
|** Peak Crest Since Floodwall Completion|
So exactly “what impacts” is Darrell Vanyo claiming to have been eliminated downstream?