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Ann Manley, Published November 08 2009

A diversion will kill our town

I oppose the proposed Red River flood diversion. As a mayor for only a few years, I have faced two significant floods and had to deal with the Federal Emergency Management Agency twice. I am afraid that with the moisture we have already had this year, I will be facing another flood next spring.

Perley, Minn., is working with the Wild Rice Watershed District on plans for adding to our levy and rerouting a ditch. These plans will help Perley in the future, but it is not the overall plan that we need. We spent eight weeks or better closed off from the outside last spring. Our roads were diked from north, south, east and west. Our businesses cannot endure this kind of impact again.

The diversion that is proposed for the Fargo-Moorhead area will kill us. A study should be done on the impact it will have on the outlying towns and farms. We already had problems with the Red River being held up in Canada and our own neighbors all trying to save their own districts. We are always doing a study about something that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. Why can’t we do one on the impact of a diversion?

We need to look into retention areas that can hold water until such time that the Red River is open and flowing. This whole idea of getting out of your town to the next little town is nuts. Wahpeton, N.D., released water at the same time we were flooding from overland thaw. Someone needs to regulate the gates to help all of us.

Another place that could use work is the highways. They need to be raised in certain areas. Roads have always been a barrier from flooding for small communities, but now the barriers are inadequate. We have low areas on both Highway 75 and County Road 39.

I am worried about Minnesota communities on the Red River, such as Kragnes, Georgetown, Perley, Hendrum, Halstad, Shelly and others. Help out the whole basin, not just Fargo and Moorhead, please.