If Government Employees Exacerbated the Minot Flood Disaster They Need To Be Publicly Fired
Yesterday Rob did a story about how elements in Minot are trying to stifle a reporter from reporting on possible errors by government workers that made the flood disaster worse.
This brings me back to the same thing that happened 14 years ago in my home town of Grand Forks. A short explanation of how the government made it worse is in order.
During the winter we had a lot of snow, in fact we set a record for snowfall. We knew that we were in for a major flood. The National Weather Service who receives federal funding for accurately predicting floods insisted that we would have a flood of “49 feet.” We’d survived a flood like that in 1979 but the town was skeptical and we prepared for the water to get up to 52 feet.
As it turned out the water was much higher than “49 feet.” In fact it got up to 54 feet and that was with water spread out all over town. If the water had been contained in the river channel it would have been much higher.
At first the National Weather Service said that they didn’t know there were any bridges (5) in town. Now one may wonder how they didn’t know that but even that doesn’t matter. Some of the areas most hard hit (The Riverside Area and the North End of East Grand Forks) were downstream from the last of the bridges.
A simple fact is that the water was flowing AROUND the bridges. They were irrelevant.
Now the National Weather Service didn’t cause the flood of 1997 but they sure made the damage worse. If we had known that the water would be that high we could have built secondary dikes and saved much of the town. People in areas that had always been dry wouldn’t have lost their belonging and family treasures like pictures in their basements.
So without a doubt there were severe costs to the public because of the National Weather Services screw-ups.
But during the flood and the immediate aftermath the word went out that “now is not the time to be pointing fingers.” The local news media spent NO time finding out why we had to suffer so much. And they never did get around to it and the time to be “pointing fingers” never did come about.
Eventually the Department of Commerce, who have responsibility for the National Weather Service gave themselves a big award for service to the people of Grand Forks. We can do without “service” like that, thank you.
To my knowledge nobody in the department ever suffered for their screwups that affected so many people in such a negative way.
So anyway I’d tell the people of Minot that NOW is the time to point fingers. Why is it that the government waited so long to tell the people that they were going to release unprecedented amounts of water? Last weekend things were just fine in Minot and now people are living in shelters.
It’s likely that secondary dikes could have been put up in time saving many neighborhoods.
So now the disaster is nearly complete. But if we don’t demand accountability of the people in government that made things worse someone in some unknown as of yet is going to suffer because we didn’t get the incompetents fired today.Tags: Government Incompetence, Minot Flood, North Dakota News