Sandy's impact on local diversion plansFargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- The number of lives lost, people without power and the damage estimates all continue to climb as the Super Storm marches its way across and around the East Coast.
By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- The number of lives lost, people without power and the damage estimates all continue to climb as the Super Storm marches its way across and around the East Coast.
Right now, 39-people have lost their lives. More than 8-million people are without power. And early damage estimates are over 50-billion dollars.
And while it is early in the cost assessment stage, our local flood fighters are quietly asking the question. Will this widespread destruction impact the future of Diversion efforts here?
It is easy for the Red River Valley to relate to and sympathize with those on the East Coast battling high water, fire and power outages. But along with the empathy, comes concern for flood prevention here at home.
Heavy rain, flooding, flames. Parts of the East Coast look more like scenes from Armegedon. Conditions so severe, it is tough to even assess the damage or come up with the herculean cost of rebuilding. And while there is an understandable sympathetic ear for those suffering, there is concern what this natural disaster, so widespread, will do to the upcoming decision Congress makes on whether or not to authorize our Flood Diversion Plan.
Darrell Vanyo/Cass Co. Commissioner: "It is going to take billions to get people back to normal. It is a concern, yes it is a concern but does it make us stop what we are doing, no. We need to continue to forge ahead."
And so because of these unknowns, Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker says the city must keep doing what it is doing, building infrastructure, protecting Fargo to 42.5
"Recovery is something I don't want to go through."
The Army Corps tells us today the Super Storm doesn't muddy the waters anymore than before. Uncertainty is still there when it comes to authorization and funding of the Diversion.
Dennis Walaker/Fargo Mayor: "There is only so much money, I have faith we are going to get this project, I have said all along this is a 50-50 deal."
City leaders hope authorization from Congress comes sometime in 2013. Then the question and challenge is funding.