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Solutions need combination of measures for flood control

Diversion Authority Chairman Darrell Vanyo’s testimony to the Water Topics Overview Committee June 24 prompted some concerns of the veracity of his testimony.

Vanyo said the Diversion Authority does support distributed storage throughout the Red River Valley. Unfortunately this is not supported by the facts.

Vanyo attempts to use the Red River Basin Commission’s study — Halstad Upstream Retention — as proof of its support of distributed storage. This is a new turn as previously the Diversion Authority dismissed the benefits of distributed retention.

The Red River Basin Commission with the Diversion Authority first refused to release the percentage of reduction available in river flow, and then they omitted the peak cubic-feet-per-second flow reductions in the public presentations.

As one Diversion Authority member even noted the money — $500,000 — was well spent to show distributed storage would not benefit the Fargo-Moorhead area.

The Diversion Authority as the local nonfederal sponsor has previously not asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to consider distributed retention as part of the plan and therefore the distributed retention was dropped from further consideration as a component of measures for flood protection.

Sen. John Hoeven’s letter, published in The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead May 28, was a call for a “comprehensive/broad approach” which included:

* permanent flood protection for Fargo-Moorhead and the Red River Valley

* dikes, levees and other flood protection infrastructure within the Fargo-Moorhead area

* upstream flood protection —upstream concerns addressed

* affordable flood insurance

Vanyo did not address the “broad approach” advocated by Hoeven, R-N.D. This is understandable as the F-M diversion is only designed to protect the Fargo-Moorhead area as stated in the F-M diversion documents.

The upstream groups are committed to a solution that benefits everyone in the Red River Valley. Solutions require a combination of measures to achieve real flood control for the Red River Valley. This will provide more equitable use of tax dollars.

Hoeven noted in his letter, “All of these elements combined amount to a comprehensive flood protection plan for Fargo-Moorhead and the Red River Valley, a plan that will protect people and property in a reasonable and responsible way.”