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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Situational Ethics Part 8

Selling Fear

Oxbow, ND mayor Jim Nyhof

Fear Mongering is best described as: “the use of fear to influence the opinions and actions of others towards some specific end.”

Fargo never misses a beat to rally flood headlines and those headlines generally morph into the topic of FEMA flood insurance.

Fargo, Cass County and the Diversion Authority proponents keep inflammatory talking points nebulous to flood insurance handy and alive so they can exert their special brand of fear over unwary property owners in a sleazy attempt to generate support for a development project disguised as flood control.

In just three short years the Fargo goes from 400-500 homes requiring FEMA flood insurance to the newly touted 20,000 homes…? How “convenient” that the 20,000 homes figure was trotted out, not long, after the updated FEMA FIRM maps went into effect in January 2015.

April 2012 – MPR News: Fargo City Engineer April Walker indicated “We have about 400 to 500 homes in the current flood plain.”

August 2013 – Fargo Forum: Fargo has had a basement exception for flood insurance since 1975. More than 600 homes now have flood-proofed basements, which allow homeowners in the 100-year floodplain to have basements and keep their flood insurance premiums low, at an estimated $400 a year. Premiums could be $10,000 to $12,000 per homeowner if the exception goes away, city officials say.

July 2014 – Fargo Forum: The City of Fargo held a press conference Tuesday morning to announce the changes to the floodplain map after receiving the Final Letter of Determination from FEMA. The new map expands the current 100 year floodplain in Fargo, which will result in approximately 2,300 structures being affected.

April 2015 – Fargo Forum: Kevin Fisher, who represents the Fargo-Moorhead Area Association of Realtors, said his members are worried about what happens if area governments can’t agree to finance the diversion. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has already said it will update the 100-year flood plain map if there is no progress on the diversion in five years, which Fisher said could mean higher flood insurance rates for 20,000 properties, which would have an impact on the housing market.

April 2015 – Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney’s office: sent letters to 35 of the city’s largest businesses urging them to vote “yes” on a special assessment for the proposed Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion, stating: “if the diversion is not built, the Federal Emergency Management Agency plans to increase the number of properties at risk of flooding, requiring them to pay more for flood insurance.”

June 2015 – – Kevin Fisher: Without a diversion project, almost 20,000 residences could be added to the floodplain, requiring costly flood insurance mandates.

June 2015 – Fargo Forum: Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney: The Federal Emergency Management Agency has said it would redraw the flood plain map if the city doesn’t increase its protection, he said, which could mean 20,000 more homes paying higher flood insurance rates.

July 10th, 2015 – Oxbow, ND Mayor Jim Nyhof letter to the Fargo Forum:

“…the goal of the F-M Diversion project is to provide 100-year certified flood protection for the communities of Fargo and Moorhead with minimal downstream impacts. To eliminate the need for flood insurance for 20,000 homes in Fargo, to stimulate the economic impact of certified flood protection to countless businesses in the region, and many more to consider our region as an option for growth; a staging area south of Fargo and Moorhead along with the diversion channel is the answer.”

Notice a pattern of FEAR being tied to FEMA flood insurance…?

Sorry Mr. Nyhof…, but the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion project only makes Fargo’s current flooding issues…, someone else’s.  Coincidentally, the very reason that the OHB project exists.

Isn’t it rather interesting that the Fargo Diversion Authority resorts to hearsay and conjecture relating to FEMA flood insurance but have yet to produce a FEMA document defining the claims being made? Even more curious is the lack of any written document having been produced for public scrutiny, wherein, FEMA makes any indication that they intend to adopt higher U.S. Army Corps of Engineer modeling hydrology, which is associated to the lofty claims being made.

The entire FEAR associated with FEMA flood insurance is a power-grab by local leaders to justify the Fargo Dam and FM Diversion project.

Here are the facts:

Since 1980, the 50, 100 and 500 year event flood plains has risen only a small amount.

50 yr
( 2 percent )
100 yr
( 1 percent )
500 yr
( 0.2 percent )
Jan 1980 22,300 29,000 50,000
Jan 2015 22,300 29,300 50,500
2009 Historic Crest 29,500

Fargo exceeded a 100 year event in 2009…, and as Mr. Nyhof indicated in his letter to the Fargo Forum, the goal is 100 year flood protection for the communities of Fargo Moorhead, which can achieved by completing internal flood protection.

It appears that excess flood protection is intended to offset the negative effects caused by encroachment into the last natural flood plain. FEMA rejected the Southside Flood Protection project because it fostered growth into the last natural flood plain south of Fargo.

Could all of the rhetoric surrounding the FEMA flood insurance debate and the myopic Fargo Diversion Authority agenda be an attempt to hide the effects of development encroachment and water relocation from the natural flood plain?

The new mandatory FEMA flood insurance requirements are a result of man-made actions. Move water from the flood plain into the river and you create higher crests, greater flood risk and increase FEMA base flood elevation maps.

Well Mr. Nyhof, being a person that has self proclaimed oneself to be credible, honest and effective…, while you are busy fear-mongering FEMA flood insurance…, can you…, or any of your Diversion Authority buddies offer an ironclad written guarantee that FEMA will not require flood insurance behind the OHB ring dike or Fargo Dam and FM Diversion project?

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