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Situational Ethics Part 1

Jim Nyhof on "gaps"

Oxbow Mayor, Jim Nyhof

On July 10, 2015 the Fargo Forum ran a letter to the editor from Oxbow, ND mayor Jim Nyhof.

There are differing opinions on whether or not Mr. Nyhof actually penned the letter or not, however, taking ownership of the content contained within the letter rests squarely upon the Nyhof’s shoulders, as he presented himself as signator.

Nyhof’s 863 word rant touched on several topics relating to the OHB (Oxbow, Hickson, Bakke) project, however, every story has two sides with the truth somewhere in between.

For instance, Mr. Nyhof stated in his letter:

“FEMA actually required the removal of two 100-foot sections of the levee we had built, which left large gaps and significantly lowered the level of protection we had built.”

What Mr. Nyhof failed to include was that Cass County purchased one of the lots back from FEMA which allowed that levee section to filled in, however, failed to do the same for the other FEMA lot(s).

Cass County Administrator Keith Berndt was cited on May 12, 2012 in the Fargo Forum:

“The gaps are only a fraction of the levee, so crews could fill them back
in within a day if a flood threat arose, ninety percent of the levee is
still there, there are just a couple of spots where there are openings in it now,”

Mr. Nyhof also failed to mention that the City of Oxbow Flood Operations and Maintenance Manual [ read more…] includes “temporary closures” as a planned measure during a significant flood event.

So why would Mr. Nyhof being doing all this hand-wringing over “gaps” in the levee system when he himself requested the levee that would cross the golf course to remain open while the new holes are being constructed and Cass County Administrator Keith Berndt didn’t characterized it as a minor issue?

Listen to Jim Nyhof, October 9, 2013:

If the city of Oxbow is truly at risk of a 2009 level or greater flood event, why would the Oxbow mayor be so carelessly “ineffective” and prioritize a full 18 holes of golf course play over the safety of his city residents?

If the same metric being argued in Oxbow, that “certification” isn’t possible because there are “gaps” in the levee system, were applied to Fargo-Moorhead dikes levees and flood-walls, then “certifiable flood protection” will never be achieved for the the thousands that are being intimidated with imparted fears of mandatory flood insurance in the greater F-M metro area.

Here are few of several “gaps” to ponder in the Fargo Moorhead flood protection systems…

GAP in Fargo Flood Protection (near Lindenwood Park)

GAP in Fargo Flood Protection (near Lindenwood Park)

GAP in Fargo Flood Protection (near Oak Grove)

GAP in Fargo Flood Protection (near Oak Grove)

GAP in Fargo Flood Protection (near El Zagal, Elm Street)

GAP in Fargo Flood Protection (near El Zagal, Elm St)

GAP in Moorhead Flood Protection (near I-94)

GAP in Moorhead Flood Protection (near I-94)

Whatever will Fargo Moorhead do…? If “gaps” in levees and flood-walls allegedly prevent certification of flood protection.


Does self proclaiming oneself to be credible, honest and effective…, make it so?

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