Every year since 2009 Fargo, Cass and the Fargo Diversion Authority and has salivated for a flood forecast that would create anxiety with overstated levels only to shrug their shoulders in bewilderment when the forecast floods never materialized.
During the last legislative session (2013), Fargo resorted to police escorts with wailing sirens for sandbags to create headlines. Shameless manipulation to impress ND lawmakers about the flood woe’s facing Fargo along with a bid for more state funding and to galvanize residential fear of an embellished flood crest that was never going to arrive. (Peak crest April 9th, 2013 33.18 feet, 7.66 feet lower than the 2009 crest, 8.81 feet lower than the predicted peak 42 foot crest.)
But it gets worse!
Fargo and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been gambling with overstated flood levels to place constituents between the devil and the Red River. With the threat of new flood insurance requirements or rising premiums, Fargo, Cass and the Diversion Authority are trying to compel support for a development project touted as flood control that will only cause future Red River levels to rise.
Webster’s dictionary defines terrorize as such:
1: to fill with terror or anxiety : scare
2: to coerce by threat or violence
So why are Cass county, Fargo Diversion Authority members and Fargo Moorhead Area Association of Realtors discussing and joking about what activities and threats drive support for the multi-billion dollar Fargo Dam and FM Diversion boondoggle?
Rodger Olson (Cass County Joint Water Resource District Manager) and Rocky Schneider (Diversion Authority Public Outreach Committee) openly stated that the flood insurance threat is their best conduit for positive outrage. So while these committee members are commiserating on how best fear and anxiety can be manipulated, they don’t appear to be pressing Fargo to complete much overdue internal flood protection.
Kevin Fisher (NDAR Director – Fargo Moorhead Area Association of Realtors) went even further by stating a flood would help their case for a diversion. Then further lamented the flood insurance requirement (which has been caused by encroachment into the last natural flood plain south of Fargo) as justification of why the dam and diversion project is needed.
Here is an audio clip from the December 10th, 2014 Public Outreach meeting:
When you hear the laughter…, remember the overstated flood forecasts that Fargo has missed every flood since 2009…
|December 10th, 2014
Public Outreach Transcript Excerpt
|Ken Pawluck:||part of it depends on when the next flood is, because, because, the floods are really what drive the activity, and if we have a flood this next spring, that, that, that will drive more activity than if we don’t have any flood as far as action by the feds and, and reaction.|
|Kevin Fisher:||but unfortunately that would help our case to if we had that to get the diversion in, yet we don’t want a fl.. we, we, we really don’t want a flood.|
|Ken Pawluck:||we don’t want the flood, but ya know what…, we have zero control over that happening.|
|Rodger Olsen:||but the in…, insurance threat might be our…, conduit to…, continuing this forward, and, and giving us the support that we, y’know, we’re looking for.|
|Rocky Schneider:||I think like you said, I think there’ll be, there…there… y’know positive outrage once those letters come out about… Why am getting this letter? Why hasn’t something been done? I think this is a positive thing because I think that’s… that’s what everyone’s working toward.|
|Kevin Fisher:||especially when we get that homeowner that all of the sudden is being transferred to wherever and has got to sell their house and they didn’t take out the flood insurance…, now they try to sell it and they are like “what!-?” how come I didn’t that’s what this is going to cost ya…, and it’s like well…, y’know…, call the people to be and let’s get it done.|