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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Situational Ethics Part 4

Jim Nyhof, Oxbow ND Mayor (100 vs 500 year flood)

Jim Nyhof, Oxbow ND Mayor (100 vs 500 year flood)

Perhaps the most curious thing about people that drink the Fargo Diversion Authority kool-aid is the overwhelming willingness for them to parrot misinformation from the very people getting paid to create inconsistent misinformation to push the overall development agenda of those footing the bill.

Most peoples eyes glaze over when terms like CFS, hydraulics, hydrology and FEMA flood levels are thrown about. Even worse is the unique differentials between the 100 and 500 year flood events.

Fargo is no stranger to fear mongering. They use the 18 foot flood stage like a cheerleader shaking their pompoms. An 18 foot flood event is a non-issue because it is “at minimum” 19 below the first real threat to any living structure in the greater Fargo Moorhead area.

To maintain this bizarre “witchcraft” call flood stage, Fargo / Cass county chose to abandon the sea-level metric and adopt a one size fits all two digit system to ensure that the majority of the population has no concept of their actual risk and clamor to for any morsel of misinformation trotted out with mere D- engineering credentials. The USACE is even worse, because they maintain that flooding is about hydrology and not gage height.

Think about it….! Every structure built in the Red River valley begins with a benchmark elevation to sea-level which FEMA interpolates into their flood plain maps to determine flood insurance requirements. Yet “Fargo” is so “special” that they abandon the universal norm for contrived control over public perception in flood elevation?

Enter these “nuggets” from Mr. Nyhof’s July 10th, 2015 Fargo Forum letter to the editor.

“The flood of 2009 reached near a 100-year flood stage in my community.”

“For the barstool engineers out there, we do not have the typical 3.5 feet of
freeboard seen in Fargo and Moorhead on their levees, and there is no
certification standard.  We just built a dike to the number that gave peace
of mind 
to the 100 homes that remained in Oxbow. And for clarification, a
500-year flood stage in the center of Oxbow is only 1¾ inches 
more than a
100-year flood stage. At the time, I felt that the 
level we built was near the
500-year flood stage.”

I will let you determine whether or not Mr. Nyhof knows what he’s talking about.

The following table compares information contained in the FM Diversion Detention “White Paper” and the hydrology rating curve for the USGS 05051522 Red River of the North at Hickson, ND.

Based On “White Paper” Data

Flood Event CFS
100 year FEMA 14,173 cfs 35.48 ft
500 year FEMA 21,818 cfs 38.43 ft
Difference 2.95 ft
2009 Historic 23,700 cfs 39.04 ft
Exceeded FEMA 100 yr 3.56 ft
Exceeded FEMA 500 yr 7.32 inches


Odd…? 3.56 feet over the FEMA 100 year level sure sounds like “free-board”…

So to recap.., Mr. Nyhof attempted to “clarify” the difference between a 100 year and 500 year event at the center of Oxbow as being 1.75 inches, however, information provided by the USGS indicates a difference of 2.95 feet.

He also attempted to claim that Oxbow, ND only had a near 100 year flood in 2009, yet, Oxbow has experienced a greater than 100 year flood in 2006 and 2009, and exceeded the 500 year flood level in 2009 by 7.32 inches.

Rather curious that Mr. Nyhof, a person self proclaiming oneself to be credible, honest and effective…, suggests a “clarification” that crumbles under scrutiny.

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