Watching The Weather Channel intently as “Isaac” heads toward New Orleans within days of Hurricane Katrina’s anniversary prods considerable thought.
$14.5 billion additional dollars spent to update aging flood mitigation that at its inception was “designed” to provide adequate prevention from storm surge, swells and tidal flooding.
Curiously, a similar concern to the Fargo Moorhead Dam and FM Diversion is being raised. Concerns over heavy rains that would cause flooding inside the dam and diversion protected area.
While Fargo, FEMA and the USACE debate the validity of the most cost effective flood protection for the metro area, the paramount non-addressed issue is flooding caused by heavy rainfall events.
|Monday, March 9th, 2009
Dave Kyner – FEMA Flood Insurance Specialist
Insurance News Net
One of the big misconceptions about flood insurance, said Dave Kyner, a flood insurance specialist with FEMA, is that “people don’t need flood insurance. That FEMA, if there is a disaster, will come in and take care of us.”
“That’s partially true,” Kyner said. “That is, if the president declares the disaster an official one. And then, aside from not-cheap Small Business Administration loans, the only help that might come through FEMA is individual assistance, that tops out at $30,000, he said.”
“And $30,000 isn’t much when you take into account that your home is your biggest investment,” Kyner said.
“A lot of people had flood insurance in West Fargo but dropped it because of the Sheyenne River Diversion Project,” Kyner said. “They figured they would be safe. But they weren’t safe from the 17 inches of rain that came down. My point is it floods everywhere. A 60-foot dike can’t protect you if it rains 17 inches on the wrong side of the dike.”
Is Fargo doing right by the residents of the metro area by creating a false sense security in high risk flood protection that does not effectively address heavy rainfall events inside the protected areas?
Are local leaders behaving responsibly and in the best interest of taxpayers by creating contrived circumstances that will induce property owners into dropping flood insurance which will expose residents and properties to exponential flood related losses?
Perhaps it is time for Fargo, the Diversion Authority, Cass County and the Corps of Engineers to face self evident truths.
Developing low ground, then spending million…nay billions of dollars in flood protection, to mitigate losses where people should not have built in the first place, is playing a fools hand with a stacked deck of political ignorance.