July 30, 2011 at 7:00 pm in INFORUM
Many questions surround the proposed Red River diversion.
Tags: columns, Diversion, heidi shaffer 2 Comments »
Although we do seem to be having a lot of trouble with the riverbanks caving in, I think that is mostly a result of all the trees that died out when Dutch Elm swept the area. Very sad. Historical accounts talk of steamboats that were once able to navigate the Red. After all that’s why the cities in the area were mostly placed along the river. It’s obvious then that the river channel was historically much deeper than it is today, so why can’t it be again?!
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Part of the problem is that the “slope” of the Red River is so slight, that making the channel deeper won’t help. The change in river elevation around Fargo is about 5 inches per mile. North of Fargo, it’s as little as an inch per mile. Making the channel deeper won’t make the water move faster.
Dredging out a deeper channel might allow a *little* more water to stay in the channel, but the amount would be insignificant compared to the volume of floodwater that Fargo faces. The impact would also be temporary; as the river flows, deeper areas are naturally filled in with sediment eroded from the banks and nearby farmland.
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