Clarinda Schnabel, Published August 05 2010
Downstream concerns driven by data from official sourcesAs one of the people who will be greatly affected downstream by the F-M diversion, I was greatly disturbed by some of Forum Editorial Page Editor Jack Zaleski’s comments (column, Aug. 1). The one that stood out the most: “The potential water level in downstream areas seems to rise every time foes speak to the media.
“First the diversion would dump an additional 4 inches; then it was 11; then 17; then 20. It gets more nonsensical every time they open their mouths.”
If you have been reading The Forum, you would know that those figures come from various reports from the Army Corps of Engineers. We are not making up those figures; they come from corps reports.
The water has not just been coming down on Fargo-Moorhead for years; we, too, have been fighting record and near-record floods every year that the
F-M area has been fighting them. Again, this has been reported in The Forum.
The diversion would increase our flooding by anywhere from 2 inches, which was the estimate when the diversion was first talked about, to 17 inches, which is what the corps reported at the public meeting held in Hendrum on June 16. I’m not sure where the corps is going to put their estimate the next time they publish a report.
This problem has manifested itself over many years. We are asking that solutions not be knee-jerk reactions just because Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., is retiring. If it is a good plan, then it should be funded whether he is in office or not.
After Gov. John Hoeven was in town, and everyone said that they would do everything they could to help, it was requested that the comment period for the diversion be extended. The comment period expires on Monday. The request to extend the comment period was turned down. That sounds more to me like “Our minds are made up, don’t confuse us with the facts.”
I am not against flood protection for Fargo-Moorhead, and I don’t believe I have heard anyone say that there shouldn’t be flood protection for them. I am voicing concerns for the thousands of people who live downstream from the diversion. There should be a sensible and reasonable plan, such as adequate retention, for flood protection that doesn’t just address one area but all those affected.