WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 12, 2011, 09:49 AM

Engineer: Diversion would protect communities outside the plan

(WDAY TV) - With many parts of Northern Cass County seeing some of the worst flooding ever, officials are once again pointing out the benefits of a diversion. Some of those benefits may surprise you.

If a diversion were built, Cass County officials say these clay dikes wouldn't be needed and the river would never be this high. It would even protect communities outside the plan.

Cass County has gotten multiple calls from residents since the plans for the diversion were first being discussed. Many of the outlying communities were concerned a diversion would create more flooding issues for them, but county engineer Keith Berndt says the opposite is true.

He says areas like Harwood and Argusville currently dealing with some of the worst flooding ever, would barely have to sandbag.

KEITH BERNDT - Cass County Engineer: “The water level in the diversion would actually, during a minor flood like this, be lower than the surrounding ground. So these areas, these streams that are breaking out now; the Maple River, the Rush River, that are breaking out and flowing overland and flooding these communities, would be intercepted so we wouldn't be seeing that breakout flow. It would be able to flow into the large diversion channel."

Cass county officials met with FEMA reps yesterday to discuss the diversion with them and they're hoping with their support they'll be able to get more people in Washington on board with the plan.