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Published August 09, 2010, 09:40 PM

Deadline For F-M Diversion Comments

Today is the deadline for comments to the Corps of Engineers about concerns about the F-M diversion, and some are worried.

The Corps of Engineers studies go as far North as Thompson, and findings in the city of Grand Forks won't be out until September.

Although a few people I talked with were not concerned about flooding at the moment, others worry about the study not being done here yet.

The Corps of Engineers recently did a study of how the F-M Diversion would affect communities downstream.

"These numbers are preliminary, they are going to depend on what the final design is so they are an estimate no matter what." Craig Evans said.

In order to get the completed report to Congress by December, today had to be the deadline to take comments on the diversion even though all the research hasn't been done yet.

"Their putting the cart before the horse I think, their not letting people digest the research of the information being provided and then commenting on it. They're taking comments more out of fear than fact." concerned resident Richard Jensen said.

The Corps determined over a 100-year flood the Thompson bridge could have increased flooding of up to 16 inches. Although these findings worry some people, others think things will work out.

"Most things like that happen pretty fast with a lot of warning, but I really don't think we have concern for that here." downtown business owner Cory Schullo said.

The Corps says Grand Forks research will be done in September and although the deadline for comments is today, people can still contact the Corps with questions.

"They'll have to wait in order to see what our estimate is, but if they have concerns they should make a comment and maybe preface it by saying, "if the water rises 6 inches, then this is the impact to my property." Evans said.

People say although they are little worried about the diversion, they still feel safe here.

"I think our city and our state have done a fine job here. I hope they can do the research necessary for all options." Jensen said.

The Corps says they already know what the worst case has been upstream, so they don't think things will be worse downstream of the Thompson area.