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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Paulette Orth Comments to the USACE re: Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion

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Pages 025 Paulette Orth Comments USACE FEIS Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion

October 31,2011

Dear US Army Corps of Engineers;

I am writing in regards to the diversion channel plan. Please take into account the concerns I have about building a diversion channel verses combining alternative methods.

1. The effects of a diversion channel on neighboring communities,
   farmland, and the environment need to be addressed. Much of
   our rich soil will be covered in cement. During years of low rain fall water that would have
   been absorbed into the land thus filling our water table will be destroyed. Our relationship
   with neighboring communities, rural homeowners, to the land it self will be forever affected.
   That effect in its self could be catastrophic.

2. With the alternative plans in place (see below) … No matter how much water we
   would have to deal with “if” a catastrophic flood “should” happen the flooding would be
   minimized to a level we surely could take care of.

3. The cost of a Diversion Channel is appalling compared to what it would cost to
   create eco friendlier alternative measures.

4. Wetlands and grasslands are important and can play a major role in flood control
   while enhancing our environment.

Thank you for your time and consideration to what a major, safe, role alternative measures can do to illuminate flooding while protecting our area’s natural resources verses building a diversion channel.

Sincerely,

Paulette Orth
Fargo ND

Alternative measures:

Relocating Structures
Restoring wetlands and using grasslands for water storage
Constructing levees, floodwalls, and/or pumps

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3 Responses to “ Paulette Orth Comments to the USACE re: Fargo Moorhead Dam and Diversion ”

  1. This is true, but you’re talking of just maintaining current wetlands. You’re talking of reclaiming and creating new wetlands for the project, and that is not cost effective.

    I’m not denying their efficacy, mind you. I’ve read the study concerning the Red River Basin and the Devils Lake Basin concerning wetlands reclamation, and the numbers are not their to support a cost efficient support for flood protection only.

    Wetlands’ greatest flood protection benefit is for the immediate area surrounding the wetland. The benefits decrease significantly the further one travels away from the wetlands.

    By all means it can be part of the whole process, but its not a major player, especially when it comes to cost. The biggest boondoggle factor is, and will continue to be, the fact that the Corps by Federal regulations must include the entire FM metro floodplain in their baseline measurements when calculating impacts. This completely distorts the true impacts of the diversion upstream or downstream because it includes water that is already taken out of storage by current floodworks of the FM Metro.

  2. Corey,

    Thank your input and thoughts.

    To clarify, the comments contained in the letter were submitted during the USACE FEIS comment period in 2011.

    The position of the authors comments are views that may run contrary to another’s, however, they are valid concerns of the author, in this case Paulette Orth, and deserve due consideration.

    While the reclamation of wetlands may be a point of contention and process, the greater issue may be further encroachment into the “farm-able” natural flood plain adjacent to the metro area, which provides a direct benefit to the metro-area. Continued development of the natural flood plain would increase flood risk potential to the population in an around the Fargo-Moorhead metro area.

    You may be onto something by identifying inconsistencies in the Corps baseline measurements.

    There appears to be several anomalies that the USACE avoids directly answering.

    With a new comment period approaching, you are encouraged to gather your concerns and submit them during the comment period.

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