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Published July 23, 2010, 09:44 PM

Downstream Interests Fighting F-M Diversion

The proposed Fargo-Moorhead Red River Diversion project is causing flooding concerns downstream.

By: Meagan Millage, WDAZ

The proposed Fargo-Moorhead Red River Diversion project is causing flooding concerns downstream.

Norman County Commissioner Steve Jacobson will speak to the Grand Forks County Commission and East Grand Forks City Council about the possible problems at their next meeting.

Norman County has already passed resolutions to oppose the diversion and to extend a public comment period set to end August 9th. But they want more counties to join them.

"I think Democracy is being sacrificed to keep the Fargo-Moorhead diversion on fast-track," Norman County Commissioner Steve Jacobson said.

The Army Corps of Engineers has reported that the Fargo-Moorhead Red River diversion project could add as much as 17 inches to the river as far north as Halstad, MN.

And for northern counties like Norman County, this added water could cost them farmland, and houses during the spring flooding season.

"Anytime you're looking at 17 inches of additional crest elevations as a result of the diversion, I think people should have a real concern about that," Jacobson said.

The Army Corps of Engineers is now saying the diversion could impact areas north of Halstad, MN. But they don't know how far north or how big the impact will be.

"They did announce that there's going to be impacts north of Halstad and at the same meeting they also determined that the public comment time period is going to expire on August 9th," Jacobson said.

Now the East Grand Forks City Council and the Grand Forks County Commission want more information and have asked Jacobson to come speak about Norman County's resolutions.

"Well I have no problem with supporting to get more information and to give a period of time, personally, for them to make comments for people who are along the Red River," Grand Forks County Commissioner Gary Malm said.

Though there may seem to be a lot of unknown facts for cities north of Halstad, the time period for public comment has remained firm in order to keep the project on schedule.

"But the way this diversion is being planned is going to have adverse impacts on a lot of people and I am not of the belief that a diversion is the only way you can solve the flooding problem in Fagro-Moorhead," Jacobson said.

Jacobsen said the Army Corps of Engineers has stated that they will accept public comments after August 9th, but those comments will not be considered.

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