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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Forum Editorial Staff Admits to Being Dumb as a Plank

Fargo Forum Editorial Staff

Dumb As A Plank...? Really...??

The pro-dam and diversion ilk did everything they could to treat March 28th as some sort of bizarre local holiday.

Local media played their part as drum and fife as they tried to gin up some crumb of newsy memory akin to a bad parent reminding children that there might be monsters under their bed and a boogeyman on the loose in the backyard.

It seemed as though they were desperately searching for some galvanizing angle to have their viewers and readers stand up and demand the $2+ billion dollar boondoggle as being justified.

However, the Forum editorial staff offered up a special kind of stupid trite that ends up being self-incriminating.

Here is the editorial with commentary:

Forum editorial: Sandbag Central is Quiet
March 29, 2014
Listen. That sound you don’t hear is the rumble of big trucks carrying sandbags into the neighborhoods of Fargo and Moorhead. That sound you don’t hear is the roar of bulldozers building an earthen dike on downtown Fargo’s Second Street. That sound you don’t hear is the early morning briefing from grim city officials about preparations for a flood crest on the Red River. That sound you don’t hear is the urgent call for volunteers to go to work at “sandbag central.”


So we don’t call Fargo’s 2013 big show for state legislators – “foolishness”, but we rejoice that we didn’t need to address a known weak link in Fargo’s internal flood protection because Fargo has chosen for years to do nothing about 2nd street?

One can only imagine Walaker and his minions pouting that they could not have school closings and busloads of free labor to push their political dam and diversion agenda onto a free labor pool just trying to faithfully do their civic duty.

Forum editorial: For the first time in many years, sandbag central is quiet. It’s a beautiful non-sound. Five years after a modern-day record crest on the river (near 41 feet on March 28, 2009), the Red also is quiet, and there are no projections the river will rise to anything near a threatening flood stage. Last year at this time, the flood outlook was different. The region prepared, but the Red and its tributaries did not rise to levels initially feared. The 2013 non-flood in Fargo-Moorhead was a good thing.


Focus on the key word “feared”. If you hype a crisis into public fear you can control them through ignorance. Pretty crafty to cover up the millions spent in the 2013 “non-flood” event, wherein, the lofty sandbag goal was to match the embellished flood prediction which fell several feet short and nearly 1.4 million sandbags long, as though it were a miracle.

I do agree, it was nice to not have Fargo crying wolf over this years repeated non-event.

Forum editorial: So, relax, right? No, never.


That’s right. To truly keep the charade alive you need to be committed.

Forum editorial: The river’s history leaves no room for apathy.


…and yet Fargo could not rally enough sand-baggers locally, so they sent their message all the way to the Twin Cities to steal headlines and find volunteers.

It is a good thing that the sandbags were not needed, however, equally un-necessary is the stress and the hype used to compel volunteers to build for a flood that was not coming. The non-flood of 2013 was purely for show, to garner sympathy from Bismarck and to ring up funding for the proposed Fargo Dam and FM Diversion.

Forum editorial: The long-term behavior of the river is the best possible lesson that permanent flood control is the only way to ensure that when a big flood comes again – and it surely will – Fargo, Moorhead and immediate environs will not go under. Anyone who does not grasp the history of flooding or understand obvious remedies is either dumb as a plank or chooses not to accept reality.


This is were it gets good. The Forum editors get preachy about permanent flood control, yet fail to showcase the importance of completing internal protections for the city that currently exists.

However, the best part is where the Fargo editorial staff uses broad strokes to assail anyone not aligned with “their version” of “remedies” or “realities” to be as “dumb as a plank”. And that is precisely where the Fargo Forum editorial staff admits, in their own words, they are a “dumb as a plank”.

Forum editorial: Finally, a reminder. F-M’s flood fighting protocols have been honed to an ever-evolving science. It’s been a methodical process that accelerated after the flood of 1997 that inundated and destroyed much of Grand Forks. Fargo was damaged that year, but not destroyed. The knowledge-based flood protection measures that have been put in place since then have kept the city dry. But the city is protected only to an elevation allowed by the hydrology and geology of the metro. Levees can only be built so high. It’s been a remarkable accomplishment. But it must never be forgotten – even as the river stays in its banks this spring – that permanent protection from a really big flood has yet to be achieved.


To those Forum editorial staff that are as “dumb as a plank”, we’ll dumb it down for you.

The most obvious and easily understood remedy would be to not build in the flood plain.

Sept 28th, 2011 FEMA WARNING to Darrell Vanyo:
…any adjacent floodplain areas, that must be kept free of encroachment…

Grand Forks/East Grand Forks didn’t attempt to built a 12.5+ mile wide dam to address the 460 percent greater water flow caused by multiple rivers and tributaries upstream of the cities. They built internal flood walls and removed restrictions opening up the waterway. They also didn’t concoct a plan to ring-dike three communities to allow the creation of a man-made lake to form around the homes with no guarantee of when the water would be allow to subside, in addition to denying property owners the legal right to vote on whether they want to stay or take a buyout.

Oxbow, Hickson and Bakke are not flood prone.

Bakke and Hickson have never flooded from the Red or Wild Rice rivers. The 2009 flood would have needed to be approximately twice as large to reach only 2 percent of the homes.

Oxbows, 2010-2011 construction of permanent ring-dike protection along with a few as-needed temporary measures has the community well protected. Properties in harms way have been removed and those perched on the river bank enjoy the benefit of their location.

Fargo is fighting floods because they choose to build where it naturally floods.

That is an elevation thing, affected by the hydrology thing, because of that irresponsible encroachment thing, into the natural flood plain thing.

Fargo is raising the flood threat because it has an insatiable desire to expand and has leaders allowing to happen in flood prone areas. Expansion isn’t bad unless it’s done irresponsibly. When Fargo crossed the I-94 corridor every acre foot of water displaced has corresponded to higher crests. Development of the Rose Creek area impacted a vital flood plain buffer, accelerated flood issues and has never been addressed or offset.

So blather on about your self-indulgent proclamations of honed science.

Better yet, delve into your journalistic integrity and locate the document(s), study(s) and decision makers that chose to ignore flood plain development impacts and how that water displacement is causing the higher floods of today.

Why not tell the truth about FEMA re-mapping relating to NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) with newly expanding city borders and how flood plain reduction raised the 100 year flood plain causing many home owners to shoulder “never before” flood insurance premiums.

…and by the way, as for levees only being able to built so high…

Good enough for Oxbow, Hickson and Bakke…, but not for Fargo?

To the anonymous cowards, hurling insults from the safety of Forum Editorial staff anonymity…

Thank You for admitting, by your actions and lack of integrity, to being as “dumb as a plank”.

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2 Responses to “ Forum Editorial Staff Admits to Being Dumb as a Plank ”

  1. “Levees can be built only so high”, says the plank “board”……

    Yes, based on the design of the OBH (Oxbow, Hickson, Bakke) ring dike, they can be built up to 12′-17′ Above the 500 year flood plain level.

    So that begs the question, how high does Fargo need when the difference between 100 year and 500 year is “inches, not feet”????

    “dumb as a plank” is correct but with 4 times as many fingers pointing back, I think the caster of this phrase, aka the editors of the forum, win the awards in spades.

  2. The dam and levee are for new subsidized development in the flood plain, the City leaders even admit it to a legislator “ the growth will go to West Fargo” and the Fargo Forum hides the fact dumb is a understatement.

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