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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Fargo Flood Fraud

Fargo's Great Deception

If you’ve ever ventured too close to a Killdeer nest or hatch-lings, a very curious phenomenon occurs. You will see, what appears to be, a wounded bird making a commotion…, the ultimate deception to draw your attention away from the young.

It’s not very different from the “big show” that Fargo puts on to solicit political sympathy for local, state and federal funding for flood projects and the overall proposed Fargo Dam and FM Diversion.

During the 2013 North Dakota legislative session, Fargo resorted to police escorts for sandbags, for a forecasted flood crest that was NEVER going to come…, but Fargo leaders were able to dupe state legislators into additional state funding for Fargo internal flood protection.

Fargo implored state legislators to provide funding for Fargo flood protection because the financial burden was daunting…, yet Fargo is spending tax dollars on the OHB ring-dike-levee and golf course rather than the widely professed need for internal flood protection.

Fargo hired the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to create thousands of pages of documents to further assist them in soliciting funding from the federal government, which would be over and above any local or state tax dollars raised.

Despite rising costs due to inflation, the Fargo Diversion Authority maintains their $1.8 billion dollar price tag is valid, even though the price tag adjusted to 2014 indicates $1.97 billion.

When you look at the numbers, the need for the proposed Fargo Dam and FM Diversion project is questionable at best. Does it make sense to spend over $80 dollars for every $1 dollar spent fighting floods, when it can be done internally for less than $10/$1?

The USACE openly stated in their documentation that adding a “control structure” (Class 1 High Hazard Dam) to the proposed project significantly increased the ailing cost benefit ratio. The USACE further augmented their numbers by handpicking “experts” to conduct a two day EOE study to theorize more water, higher cfs flows and greater magnitude floods in an attempt to justify the multi-billion dollar tax payer subsidized land grab of the last natural flood plain south of Fargo, ND.

So a simple inquiry into flood fighting costs to the city of Fargo yielded a very curious response.

Contrary to USACE economic study, the proposed annual $194 million loss estimate being used to scare people into believing the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion must be built does not reflect the reality of Fargo’s flood fighting over the past 21 years. In fact, Fargo could have spent the $1.14 million average every year since the 1897 flood and still fallen $60.6 million short of the USACE $194 million loss estimate.

Delve a little further into the history of Fargo’s flood events and it is highly unlikely that combining all flood fighting costs, without including any federal reimbursements, would still not exceed the USACE proposed $194 million loss estimate. Imagine that! Fargo could fight 9.5 – $194 million dollar floods to equal the proposed Fargo Dam and FM Diversion price tag and the preceding 117 years may not even have cumulatively reached the $194 million “one year” loss estimate.

Fargo Flood Related Costs 1994-2013
Year Flood
Diversion Total

1994 0.00 0.00 0.00 82,900 0.00 82,900
1995 0.00 0.00 0.00 49,220 0.00 49,220
1996 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
1997 5,217,158 3,546,272 0.00 3,959,648 0.00 9,176,806
1998 810,931 16,184 0.00 2,126,041 0.00 2,936,972
1999 275,521 8,042 0.00 3,129,788 0.00 3,405,309
2000 628,891 84,848 0.00 945,080 0.00 1,573,971
2001 3,289,149 338,444 0.00 3,263,292 0.00 6,552,441
2002 191,435 0.00 0.00 6,746,921 0.00 6,938,356
2003 2,790,760 0.00 0.00 3,364,404 0.00 6,155,164
2004 47,956 0.00 0.00 41,259 0.00 82,214
2005 183,716 0.00 0.00 2,581,599 0.00 2,765,315
2006 749,570 367,157 0.00 873,880 0.00 1,623,450
2007 199,787 92,969 0.00 2,050,384 0.00 2,250,171
2008 0.00 0.00 0.00 1,650,708 0.00 1650,708
2009 9,810,665 7,363,770 7,406,614 4,052,246 0.00 21,269,525
2010 3,530,628 2,260,836 6,409,510 8,686,652 0.00 18,626,790
2011 6,436,725 ** 5,093,897 12,748,682 22,982,796 443,138 42,168,203
2012 0.00 0.00 7,079,437 9,800,135 7,652,681 24,532,253
2013 2,742,838 ** 1,959,013 13,519,172 4,122,767 2,618,150 23,002,927

Sub Totals 36,905,730 14,078,522 47,163,415 80,509,720 10,713,969 174,849,696
** Pending 7,052,910
Totals 22,827,208 21,131,432 47,163,415 80,509,720 10,713,969 174,849,696

** Anticipated Reimbursement – Not Yet Received
Cited Source – City of Fargo Finance Department


The City of Fargo declined to provide the cost of snow removal 1994-2013.

According to the City of Fargo, Fargo spent around $36.9 million fighting floods since 1994.

According to the City of Fargo, Fargo received around $14.1 million in federal reimbursements with another $7 million pending.

Since 1994, the City of Fargo has spent around $22.8 million dollars fighting floods (after reimbursement), which is averages out to $1.14 million per year.

So it does beg the question, why not complete internal protection to further reduce annual flood fighting costs as opposed to the multi-billion dollar project touting $3.6 million in annual maintenance.

The annual $3.6 million dollar in maintenance alone more than triples the annual average flood fighting costs and is a cost that will NEVER go away and will adjust upwards with inflation.

Even more curious is the mere fact that Fargo could spend $3.6 million in flood fighting costs every year for 500 years to equal the proposed $1.8 billion Fargo Dam and FM Diversion price tag.

Fargo Diversion Authority leaders are well aware of the deception they’ve laid before the taxpayers and they are manipulating every angle to evoke irrational fear of future flood events that are statistically not plausible.

Neither the Fargo Diversion Authority or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has any proof that future events will reach the levels forecast in their modeling designed to justify the project.

In fact, there is nothing to say the 2009 event isn’t the maximum event that Fargo will see in the lifetime of everyone currently living.

The one thing that will invariably increase future floods with less water is Fargo’s further encroachment into the last natural flood plain south of the city. It is the main reason why many property owners are now having to pay flood insurance.

** FACT ** Had Fargo completed internal flood protection since the 2009 flood, the majority of Fargo property owners receiving flood insurance notices would not be required to carry flood insurance.

Fargo’s incentive to complete internal flood protection is low, because it would reduce the need for the overall Fargo Dam and FM Diversion project.

There is a high cost to natural flood plain encroachment. If developers can shift that burden to the checkout, property tax assessments and flood insurance premiums…, they win big!

All courtesy of the Fargo Diversion Authority, doing that “Killdeer thing” with water, to facilitate their land grab to benefit Fargo developers.

It is, as if, Fargo wants to drive an Escalade and live off food stamps.

Is there any reason upstream and downstream interests should shoulder the burden for Fargo’s desire to develop the last natural flood plain south of the metro area?

Is there any reason Minnesota rights should take a backseat to Fargo’s land grab and the impacts it creates to areas outside Fargo’s jurisdictional boundaries?

Is there any reason the current Fargo Dam and FM Diversion proposal should move forward when no genuine effort was made to include impacted stakeholders or the least impactful alternative solution?

Just think…, based on the same costs provided by the USACE, had the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion been built in 1994, taxpayers could have spent $75.6 million dollars in maintenance plus another $2 billion in project costs avoiding $36.9 million dollars in ACTUAL flood fighting costs. With ZERO protection for internal flooding of the lowest developed areas due to heavy rainfall events.

…and Fargo wants people to believe that’s a bargain…

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2 Responses to “ Fargo Flood Fraud ”

  1. How many senators and congressman have bee shown these numbers? This is absolute insanity and those in Federal power need to be made aware.

  2. This illustrates the point opponents having been making for years: it’s all about taxpayer subsidies for Fargo’s future development of the rural low lying area south of the Metro. If flood protection was the goal it could be done cheaper, smarter, faster, in ways beneficial to the whole RR Basin, and with far fewer impacts.

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