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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Ignorance, Indifference, Intolerance

Bakke, Hickson, Oxbow Ring Dike
Could Cause Flooding like Chicago 2013
Photo by: Antonio Perez|Chicago Tribune

Recent heavy rains in Chicago paint a rather stark reminder in the nonsense of the Diversion Authorities proposal of ring diking Bakke, Hickson and Oxbow, ND.

Aside from the inability for Diversion Authority or Cass County officials to hear a resounding “NO”, “NOT INTERESTED”…, repeated attempts have been made to re-survey property owners in an attempt to align more support for a negligent proposal devoid of common sense.

Rather than the Diversion Authority encouraging Fargo or the USACE to downsize the staging area, remove the dam or move the alignment north of the Red River and Wild Rice confluence, the proposal of a ring-dike that brings promises of a new golf course club house to Oxbow along with a new pool and relocation of several holes…, the ring-dike presents a clear and perpetual danger to residents that will be FORCED to live in the shadow of the earthen wall structure boasting a height of 926 ft.

The Diversion Authority has somehow convinced themselves that ring diking a community so that you can place three times the natural water volume of Bald Hill dam around it…, somehow passes as “sane” decision making. The sheer hydraulic pressure created by 271.4 million tons of water in the staging and storage reservoir which could crush foundations, create water geysers in basement or destabilize the ring dike itself…, yet the Diversion Authority has yet to address these issues.

At present there have not been core samples disseminated to the public that offer sufficient proof that the massive structures can be adequately supported on the viscous clay. Sandford health new facility in south Fargo had to be re-designed and down sized because the viscous nature of the soil.

“The soil here has been described to me as a bowl of Jell-O. It doesn’t have a lot of structure to it.” -Dennis Millirons – Sanford President


Aside from the ignorance of the Diversion Authority ignoring property owner concerns over safety, the indifference towards safety concerns and the well being of residents has been simply disregarded. Cass County does not have the authority to force potential physical or financial harm upon myself or any other resident.

Even more ignorant is the statement that Bakke, Hickson and Oxbow will have the only 500 year flood protection in the Red River Valley. However, the ever present threat of heavy rain inundation or excessive snow pack seems to be of no-consequence to people that don’t need to live with the proposed inherent threats.

Currently, the communities of Bakke, Hickson and Oxbow can experience heavy rains, however, those heavy rains fill ditches and backyards, like any other community…., but it runs off quickly without reaching elevations that threaten to inundate homes.

However, building a 7-17 foot ring dike around these upstream communities without a clear solution of how heavy rains will be addressed and assurances that compensation to property owners will be readily available when design flaws become evident, reaches the intolerable.

I find it hard to believe that the Diversion Authority will make good on its suggestion of building the ring dike and not stick the residents with the build cost or maintenance…, potentially $384,000 in special assessments per property.

The mere fact that the Diversion Authority is pressuring property owners into a “decision” for a ring-dike without providing any genuine study or answers to a variety of valid concerns leaves one to question the incompetence of the Diversion Authority members that have been hand selected to rubber stamp unanimous support for the decision of the day.

When the 3 a.m. summer storm comes knocking on Bakke, Hickson and Oxbow’s door with 10-20 inches of rain filling the ring-dike, who will come with the body bags to float the dead away?

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One Response to “ Ignorance, Indifference, Intolerance ”

  1. Fargo: A City Built on “Stilts”

    This is the truth of building on the valley silt.

    The costs for the North Dakota plan are all North Dakota costs, not part of the reimbursed federal cost. Even cost overruns are North Dakota costs. Even repair of failures is a North Dakota cost. Who you going to sue?

    The question is where are the completed studies listing the costs for the footings for all the road raises, railroad raises, aqueducts, levees (retaining 10-12 feet of water), 17 foot tall ring dikes, dams and gates, over passes?

    Many of these structures will be operating with water loads and some under long term wet conditions on the supporting soils.

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