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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Is It Time to RECALL Fargo and Cass County Officials?

Whether it is a case of ignorance, incompetence or willful intent to provide taxpayers with corrupted information, Fargo and Cass officials have done major disservice to constituents by falsely claiming 2009 was around a 50 year flood event.

Numerous reports and historical data leaves a paper trail of inconsistencies, however, comparing the USGS historical records to USACE reports sheds an interesting light on how the USACE, Fargo and Cass County have either by design or by mistake, provided misinformation to taxpayers to support the proposed $2 billion plus Fargo Dam and FM Diversion

Before I jump into the evidence, listen to Cass County Administrator Keith Berndt and Fargo Diversion Chair and Cass County commissioner Darrel Vanyo stutter through a feigned attempt to assert that the 2009 event was a paltry 50 year flood event in the shadow of an alleged much larger potential event.

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Play MP3: Keith Berdt, Darrell Vanyo on 50 year Flood Event Bakke

DARRELL VANYO: You know, the whole — the whole issue here is that there is — there is protection. No. 1. No. 2, there’s an issue of moving ahead with something that people have been telling us that they are in a limbo state. It’s our quickest way to get somebody out of a limbo state. And — and so to move forward —

NATHAN BERSETH: It’s not a limbo state that was created because of a flood, it’s a limbo state that you created.


DARRELL VANYO: Okay. Thank you.

KEITH BERNDT: I guess the only thing I would say, you know, if Bakke does not have a flood risk why then was the county approached by Bakke in 2009 and asked to build a levee around it?

NATHAN BERSETH: I think a 2-foot levee and a 12-foot levee are two different things.

KEITH BERNDT: But my point is if there was concern in the community during the 50-year flood that they were at risk why wouldn’t they be at risk for a 100 or 500-year flood?


Well Keith, perhaps the hysteria induced fears in 2009 as a result of media and embellished forecasts caught residents off guard, however, 2009 far exceeded the FEMA 100 year flood…, so all in all your assertion is a moot point. Rest assured that people are tiring of the “cry wolf” scenarios devised by Fargo and Cass county, the missing of potential flood forecasts by FEET and “the big show” police escorts to deliver sandbags, which only really serve as an appeal to fears.

Here is the Music Player. You need to installl flash player to show this cool thing!

Play MP3: Keith Berdt on 50 year Flood Event Fargo Levees

KEITH BERNDT: I mean, we had a number of experts between the Corps of Engineers, private consultants, the best experts we could find, tell us again and again you cannot protect the metropolitan area with levees alone. You need to have a diversion. You cannot get the — we cannot get above a 50-year level of protection for the Fargo area with — with levees alone. If levees alone were the solution we’d — we’d be building them. And we are building them as high as we can build them. But the reality is with that all that levee work that’s being done in Fargo is completed it still wouldn’t provide the level of protection that the metropolitan area needs for a major flood. The only solution for that is to build a diversion.


The only solution for that is to build a diversion…?

Sorry, that is a completely disingenuous statement…!

Several unexplored options and combined options with basin-wide retention have been routinely rejected by Fargo and the Diversion Authority. In Jan 2013, the local sponsors terminated the FMUS study which already found 1.6 feet (19.2 inches) of benefit to Fargo.

Ironically, every entity that Fargo forces its flooding problems onto has not had a seat at the table to deny Fargo’s flood plain encroachment and aggressive land grab under the guise of flood control.

Some background. The USGS recorded the Fargo 2009 historical crest in reference to the 1929 NAVD (North American Vertical Datum), however, the US Army Corps of Engineers uses the 1988 NAVD in their studies.

The problem being the disconnect between the 1929 and 1988 datum sets. Wherein, the 1988 datum is .942 feet (11.3 inches) higher which inaccurately represents the 2009 historical crest as a lower event. VERTCON is a tool to more accurately adjust 1929 datum to 1988 studies.

However, the US Army Corps of Engineers keeps repeating the 1929 historical data and maintains the higher 1988 studies to Fargo’s benefit.

So what’s the BIG DEAL…, right…?

Well, the USGS recorded the historic 40.84 foot crest based on the 1929 NAVD, however, when adjusted to the 1988 data the actual elevation becomes 41.728 feet, which exceeds the FEMA 100 year flood level by 2.428 feet (29.136 inches). Well that just won’t do! That won’t help Fargo get their $2 billion plus dollar dam and diversion.

This is where the US Army Corps of Engineers created the false argument that 2009 was less than a 100 year flood by creating absurdly high modeling calibrated to the 2009 event using a mixture of 1929 and 1988 data sets. The end result is the USACE resorting to an “Expert Opinion” in the EOE report, created by “selected experts” that manipulated historical data into wet and dry periods in an attempt to create 100 yr and 500 yr flood forecasts from 67 years of data weighted with the express purpose to benefit Fargo future development plan with higher than factual predictions.

So you be the judge…

Fargo’s historic record of 40.84 feet adjusted to 1988 vertical datum is really 41.728 feet.

The US Army Corps of Engineers claims that 40.85 feet would be the existing 100 year flood event in Fargo, but to reach that level Fargo would need 5,200 cfs more flow than the record setting 29,500 cfs that occurred in 2009.

Every square foot of encroachment in the natural flood plain exerts an effect on upstream, downstream and on Minnesota interests to financially benefit Fargo development interests.  So why does Fargo and Cass county keep issuing building permits in natural flood plain high flood risk areas contained within their proposed dam and diversion lines and reject permits in the proposed staging area…as though the project already existed?

Too much conflict of interest in play that leans Fargo’s way…

Is it time to start recalling every city, county, state and congressional official that claimed 2009 was only a 50 year flood event?

Is it time to start recalling every city, county, state and congressional official that endorses augmented studies that are solely designed to support Fargo’s future development?

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One Response to “ Is It Time to RECALL Fargo and Cass County Officials? ”

  1. Last paragraph says it all. Love the bullitt point images.

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