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FM Diversion and Dam Increases national debt

Why was a diversion channel, rather than levees or water retention, recommended?

Q&A - Fargo Moorhead Dam and FM Diversion

The question as presented, is speculative, leading and incorrect.

The original flood reduction proposal located on the Minnesota side of the Red River included a diversion channel as a main feature to convey water from south to north of the metro area.

The proposal released in the SDEIS and FEIS utilizes high risk dams, levees and a water reservoir as primary components and a diversion channel as a secondary feature of the project.

Under the FEIS proposal water cannot enter the secondary feature ( diversion channel ) until it has been restricted and elevated preventing free flow as it crosses the Sheyenne River southwest of Horace ND.


Fargo Moorhead Dam and FM Diversion (crossection - proposed Southern Alignment)

Walaker's Wall of Water - East West Cross Section - An intolerable flood threat to Fargo

Double-Click Cross Section for Enlarged View 

Elevation of the water is achieved by utilizing dams, restrictive structures, mechanical control structures, earthen dams and tie back levee’s. This refutes public relation claims advanced by Fargo, Cass County and the Corps of Engineers regarding the lack of “high ground” to tie into, as shown in the illustration above, obtained from the International Water Institute.

The USACE was hired by the non-federal local sponsor cities of Fargo Moorhead to explore flood protection options.

The initial studies indicated that the metro area could realize significant reduction in flood risk with a more cost effective diversion channel located in Minnesota.

Minnesota interests resisted the initial diversion channel location and the city of Fargo insisted that future south side development growth projects be pursued.

Subsequent studies were aligned with future development plans of the last natural flood plain adjacent to Fargo, ND to the pre-determined detriment of interests located outside the defined project area.

Development of the last natural flood plain will increase the metro area footprint from 88.64 square miles to 261 square miles.

Risk to Fargo is increased significantly by removing the diversion channel as a primary component and replacing it with high risk dams and levees to stage an unprecedented water threat immediately south of the metro area.

Removal of the natural flood plain buffer induces water to rise higher in the river channel and against dikes, levee’s and floodwalls.

More effective upstream water retention projects, that could reduce peak floods by 18+ inches at Fargo and provide additional benefits all the way to Canada, which are not primary goals for Fargo, ND as they do not support Fargo’s Tier 2 (50 year) growth plan to develop the last natural flood plain adjacent to Fargo, ND include basin wide retention, as proposed by the Red River Basin Commission.

Cited Sources:
City of Fargo
International Water Institute

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