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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Sen. Hoeven responds to Defending Richland and Wilkin Counties

Sen. John Hoeven Response to August 10th, 2012 Defending Richland and Wilkin Counties - Letter to the Editor

Sen. Hoeven responds to concerns

John Hoeven, U.S. Senator

I want to respond to some concerns raised by Richland County Commissioner Perry Miller in a letter regarding flood protection legislation that I worked to pass in the U.S. Senate and am now working with Congressman Berg to get passed in the U.S. House of Representatives. My legislation will, in fact, save taxpayer dollars and better protect homeowners in the Red River Valley, while mitigating flood impacts both upstream and downstream.

Whether in Fargo, Wahpeton or other communities in the Valley, every year the U.S. Corps builds levees to mitigate flooding and then takes them down again on a repeated basis at great taxpayer expense. The reason is that current Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) policy doesn’t allow for flood mitigation structures to be constructed on property acquired under the agency’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. In areas of frequent flooding, however, FEMA’s policy results in funding being used year after year to construct and tear down temporary levees.

Throughout the Red River Valley, for example, levees have been constructed annually, only to be removed at the end of the flood season, incurring significant costs to FEMA and local communities. In Fargo alone, the cost to build temporary levees last year was hundreds of thousands of dollars – the third year in a row such levees were built. These levees could have been made permanent, but because of current law, they were removed only to be built again the next year.

Furthermore, they have been constructed on roads outside of previously acquired FEMA property because not even the temporary construction of levees is permitted under current law. The estimated cost to rebuild them, in pretty much the same places, is in the millions of dollars – all at a cost to taxpayers. That makes no sense.

Building levees once – and leaving them in place – in any community subject to repeated flooding will provide better flood protection for people and property, better management by FEMA, and better stewardship for taxpayer dollars. I look forward to working with Commissioner Miller to achieve solutions that will provide the best possible flood protection for all of the Red River Valley.

In response to: Defending Richland and Wilkin counties August 2nd, 2012

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One Response to “ Sen. Hoeven responds to Defending Richland and Wilkin Counties ”

  1. Senator Hoeven,

    The FEMA levees are intended to protect against a immediate threat, not as a permanent protection which more often than not, induces development into a previously flooded area.

    This induced development created by the illusion of “permanent flood protection” has cost the taxpayers of the nation millions of dollars not to speak of ND losses in Bismarck and Minot, millions more of which have been born by individual home owners who did not have flood insurance. Exemptions to the FEMA levee policy are currently in effect.

    As far as the construction and removal of levees is concerned. After the temporary levees are needed for the immediate flood threat risk reduction, then the flood risks need to be addressed with nonstructural flood mitigation measures.

    One of which is, don’t build where water wants to go.

    Trana

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