More Troubling News

After hearing this latest bit of news, I actually had to wait a few days to let the steam cool down.  After asking the city of Moorhead several times and getting the same answer, we found out that they are now doing something different.  The question posed was if a dike was going to be built in front of the driveways in our cul-de-sac.  We were told at the first flood meeting that the drawing was wrong and they would fix it.  Well when it comes right down to it, they do plan on erecting a dike at the edge of our driveways.  I don’t want to sound as if I am blaming the city, but they should have known what they were talking about while fielding questions or given us the proposed options.  In previous years the thought was always everyone help to save everyones’ homes.  Now it is all about the good of the city.  I can understand where they are coming from, but it is just a little disheartening.  Luckily all the neighbors that are going to be on the safe side of this dike are still more than willing to help us unfortunate houses on the wrong side of this dike.  We love our generous neighbors, and could never thank them enough for sticking with us!

There is now talk about a possible buy-out where we live.  This comes as somewhat of a shock and a definite double-edged sword.  If they decide to go ahead with the buy-out and we choose not to sell, then our property is worthless in the future.  But if we do decide to sell we are giving up our retirement dream.  Once this house was bought, renovations and additions were made to make this the last home my parents would own.  A beautiful piece of property on the river with everything they could possibly want, and a place they could pass along to future generations.  Now there are many uncertainties that are quickly coming into view, and many decisions that are going to have to be made.

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6 Responses to More Troubling News

  1. Lena says:

    Just be glad they’re even considering offering you a buyout. We live along the banks of the Buffalo River south of Sabin. We’ve had severe flooding issues ever since 1997 and have been dealing with the Watershed Board since 2006. We can’t legally build a permanent dike, nor get any assistance from the state to do that. They won’t give us a buyout because they say our house has never been wet, although we become a little island in the midst of a lake. We lose access to our property every year for a week to 10 days because our driveway goes under 3 feet of water and all of our out buildings get 1-3 feet of water in them. Flooding gets worse every year so the inevitable is that our house will eventually get wet. We can’t sell the property at this time because no lending institution would give anyone a mortgage on a piece of property like this. We went from owning a very valuable piece of property (5 acres) to a piece of property that can’t even be given away. We are currently retired and were counting on this asset to finance us through our later years. Now we have nothing. I know where you’re coming from.

    • Nichole says:

      Lena, I’m sorry to hear your story. So many people are going through similar situations and there are no easy answers to be found. We found out last summer that the area along any river falls into the hands of the US Coast Guard, as odd as that sounds in these parts. We were having issues with a neighbor who tried to get us in trouble with the city for not mowing close enough to the river. It was just swampy so we left it to dry out, we took the ticket back to the city and found out that the person who issued it was in the wrong because it is not city limits. What a mess! Well I hope this year goes better than the past years. Good Luck Lena!

  2. buddy says:

    I hear your concern, frustration and a bit of fear of the unknown as well in your post.
    Some perspective perhaps you haven’t considered.

    Regarding the path of the contingency dikes; those have been influx and continue to be edited as the city zero’s in on the strategy inline with available options. Keep in mind that the city is working with the army corp who is doing the construction and approvals, the corp sets the final path. I would assume that the city didn’t intentionally lie or misrepresent rather they provided the plan of record at the time and it has since been changed. Would you prefer that the city answered with a “no comment” and waited for 100% locked info?

    On the flip side; from your description it appears that the contingency dike is now closer to your property; how is that not all positive? If you are on the ‘wet side’ of a dike being closer to the dike means you can get materials / life – safety personnel / volunteers / etc closer to your property. If the contingency dike wasn’t directly across your driveway wouldn’t it be someplace further from your home but still preventing you from getting to your home? IE, in 2009 could you get from your home to the Fargo Dome in a vehicle? I’m pretty sure the answer is no as I’m assuming there was a contingency dike stopping you.

    I use the word “contingency” very purposefully as the city dikes are not the first line of defense. That line of defense is on the river and is happening per the properties owners + neighborhood efforts with the support of volunteers. From your message it sounds like your neighbors are in full support of that effort and have your back so to speak.

    Buyouts are optional; they are a vehicle by which the city enables private property owners the ability to walk away from a troublesome situation. Some owners choose the take a buyout and start fresh; others choose to stay and fight the water. It is a very personal and private decision. In your above post it sounds like you are connecting a buyout mechanism with lowering your homes value. To be clear; the buyout mechanism hasn’t lowered your properties value; the Red River did that. With or without the buyout vehicle if you are on the river in Fargo/MHD your homes value has dropped. If you face year after year flood battles then your property value has been reduced; if anything the buyout can provide you with a point in time floor to that price reduction and the ‘option’ to start fresh.

    Please don’t take my perspective as a diminishment of what you are facing. I don’t pretend to understand or know your particular situation, rather I offer some varying perspectives.

    Good luck and God bless

    • Nichole says:

      While I’m trying not to take your little attack personal, this is a blog and the point is to tell it from my perspective. It is somewhat rude to assume that I don’t know the facts and to question my point of view. I have thought over many of the things you said before you put them on the table, but it doesn’t change the way that I feel. And maybe you misunderstood that I live in Moorhead and not Fargo. There is a big difference in how things are handled in the two cities. We have much concern and frustration, but it is solely reliant on the fact that there is no certainty about what the river will do. While predictions are fine and dandy, they cannot predict the weather changing from minute to minute. There is no possible way to tell exactly what is going to happen and that is what people fear the most, the unknown.

  3. buddy says:

    I apologize if my perspectives came off as an attack, definately not my intent rather they are my opinon; nothing more or less.

    You state
    “It is somewhat rude to assume that I don’t know the facts and to question my point of view”
    Within my post I did not state that you didn’t know any facts or question your view. Rather I offered another perspective which is my understanding as to how a blog is intended to operate. IE, someone offers a perspective then others chime in with theirs to create a dialog, but perhaps I don’t understand the intent of a blog. (totally possible as I’m not that internet savy)

    Once again, I apologize if my post was in the tone of an attack, I absolutely do not want to add any stress to your situation. This weekend while I’m volunteering my time/energy to sandbag homes I’ll do my best to try and appreciate the situation from your perspective.

  4. marvin says:

    It certainly does seem that the city officials wanted to give you an answer without having all the facts. Fortunately, i would have to agree with Buddy in thinking that was unintentional. As the flood problems exist with most areas in and around the ancient lake bed and the river areas, there are also changing weather patterns that have made our region more wet. That trend seems to be consistent and we will have to pay more taxes to protect ourselves.
    I am curious slightly over your ownership in this property of which you are “troubled”, as it seems that in your post, you comment that your parents would be the last place they would own. If the property is your parents, then they would have the opportunity to sell and walk away. That might be the best for them. We can certainly understand that may not have been their original plan, but from a financial standpoint, it may be someway for your parents to recoup and hold on to some of that security that they built up.