Friday, October 23, 2009

Flood plans could come at high price

Zachary Hoffman in Disaster News Network: More than 1,000 homeowners and some farm owners whose farms have been in their families for generations may have to abandon their properties depending on which flood protection plan is selected for the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and has narrowed flood plans to two viable options for the Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota, a revamping of the levee system or extra flood diversions.

A revamped levee system would offer added protection, but would also cause more than 700 homes and businesses in Fargo and more than 300 in Moorhead to relocate. Likewise, new diversion systems would flow into fertile farmland where some families have lived for generations.

“We’ve screened out things like upstream storage and non structural measures,” said Craig Evans, senior project manager for the St. Paul District of the USACE. “Relocating all high risk structures is not feasible because of the flat nature of the flood plain here, practically every home in town would be affected.”

“There is a real interest in protecting the last urban areas that do not have enough flood protection, and that is Fargo, North Dakota, and that is Moorhead, Minnesota,” said Lance Yohe, executive director of the Red River Basin Commission (RRBC)….

In March, 2009, a makeshift levee holding back flood water in Fargo, North Dakota. FEMA

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