April 17, 2011 at 7:00 pm in INFORUM
OXBOW, N.D. – Residents here say if the entire city succumbs to flood buyouts, they’re not going to be forced away from just their homes and neighbors; they’ll be walking away from family.
Tags: Flood, Oxbow 43 Comments »
I don’t think I would want to live next to such a person â€œWeâ€™re thinking of moving out of state. I will not move to Fargo. You will have to take me in my death bed to move to Fargo,â€ Talley said. Great snobish neighbors. They are your friends as long as you are a member of the club and have an Escalade in the driveway but when your relatives pull up in a Chevy they are going to do a welfare check – that is to make sure you are not on it.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 122 73
Or maybe they are upset at the city of Fargo for pushing a plan that will force them out of their homes, which are currently protected from flooding.
I don’t blame these people one bit for not wanting to move to Fargo, a city so selfish it is willing to destroy entire cities so it can continue building homes in the 100 year flood plain.
Hot debate. What do you think? 105 92
I believe that if you look at my picture, you will find inspiration.
Like or Dislike: 2 0
You are so wrong about these people and this community. I know this because I grew up in Oxbow and I have friends throughout Oxbow, Hickson, and Bakke. The other commentators are correct. The idea of moving to Fargo after being bullied out of our homes, community, and lifestlye is appalling. When I say “lifestyle” I don’t mean expensive cars and club memberships. There are plenty of expensive cars and more memberships to be had in town. I say lifestyle meaning friendships, knowing your neighbors, how many people can say they know everyone in their city? We are a tight knit group that takes care of our own. I can confidently say this because that marker for Michael Champ was made for my brother by friends and neighbors. To tear down the structures like the memorial for my brother and the park for baby Nadia tear me up inside. Whoever you are “Hello” your attitude is unfounded and ignorant and you only sound like you have a chip on your shoulder. That’s probably why you can’t write your real name on your comment. Well I can. My name is Ashley Champ, I grew up in Oxbow, and I don’t support Fargo turning my home, community, and memories into a puddle of water.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 100 67
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I don’t want to offend anyone, believe me. But I read through these comments all the time and all I ever hear is either ignorant opinions or “me, me, me” with half truths. I also live along the river at an elevation never thought to ever have a problem. We didn’t build here. We don’t live in Fargo and don’t have sandbags delivered right to us after contributing nothing to make them and do not have people just showing up to lay them. My husband touches every one of them as well as I. We arrange our own help to put them down, pay all the costs, man the pumps ourselves with friends and family around the clock, worry about the sump the entire time and arrange all help to get the bags back out of the yard when it’s over, just so that we can then do the yard…. again. So, I’m not ignorant, nor am I insensitive to what anyone ACTUALLY dealing with this stuff has to contend with. That being said: Oxbow demanded an all or nothing buy out. Nobody is “bullying” anyone. I agree the plans are crappy for the town, no argument there. But, unless they can help fund the additional costs to move it to the South of the town, it’s the only feasible option. I am truly sorry for that. We are told we are likely to get bought out too. We’re not happy either. We bought this home to stay. But I also understand that as long as the payout is also fair to us, it’s fair and responsible of us to “take one for the team” and move on so that the constant stress and financial burden on everyone can be avoided. This is now a yearly high cost issue for the Counties, Fargo/Mhd and other communities. Eventually, the money spent for temporary solutions every year will drain what we need for other resources – or worse – another large number of homes and people’s lives are destroyed when the city loses the battle eventually. Period. I don’t care if it’s a small community of 20 homes or 200,000. It’s devastating either way. Moving away with a check in your hand with some time to find a replacement while your family is safe…. is no comparison to what people go through when losing their home in a catastraphic nature.
For example, the mentality we are now seeing with locations to the South… they already put in their own diversion… so NOW they have a problem with diversions and favor a basinwide solution? Whatever. It’s hypocritical when anyone says it’s okay for them, but not for others.
I’m very sorry for anyone up North. I don’t know what the answer is that will work for everyone. I’m not saying I’m an expert on the solution as proposed or on any other that may be available. What I am an expert on is my thoughts and how self-involved, hypocritical and close-minded “everyone” (for lack of a better description) appears to be when I read these comments or listen to anyone comment on the situation.
Since we ALL live in an area “close to the river” that is prone to flooding … how about we all try to stop the finger pointing, accusations and the “oh my gosh why should I have to give something up” mentality and figure something out to help the situation? If you move and lose touch with your old neighbors… were you REALLY that close to being with? If you were, then it wouldn’t be any concern. You know you’d still be there for eachother in the end anyway – wherever you live. We may have to let go of some THING we love to do it, but as long as we have WHO we love with us… does it really matter?
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 12 23
I’m guessing that she doesn’t want to move to Fargo because Fargo is flooding their home. Not because they are too snobbish to live in Fargo.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 82 48
Hickson was founded in 1883 – so it wasn’t formed when Oxbow Country Club was built. (Just FYI) My grandpa was Elmer Bakke – the original owner of the land of Oxbow and of the Bakke Subdivision. It just kills me to see that my home, where I grew up, and where my parents, aunts & uncles live – would go under water.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 76 23
Placing permanent levees through tight-knit neighborhoods is going to break up “families”, too. I don’t want to say that the diversion is the only option, but just to suggest that all of our options carry pain. Really, we have no idea how much opposition any option other than the diversion would meet. I’m guessing PLENTY.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 38 21
I’m wondering why they couldn’t have branched the diversion off the Red just a few miles further south thereby saving these communities instead of destroying them. I’m sure there are reasons, but it would be interesting to know what they are. I know you can’t just keep going south to save the next community, but looking at the map it seems so very close on the north side.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 41 14
I’m sure it’s financial. If 35 miles is $2 billion, that’s $57 million/mile
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 33 9
The way i understand it going further south would cost more then just buying out the Oxbow area. Something to do with the natural elevation and the amount dirt work required if it were moved south.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 35 8
Let’s face it. As long as Denny, Pat and the Fargo bullies can stay dry, who cares about the little towns around them. Remember, the mayor of Fargo thinks West Acres is the wealth creator funding state government in ND. He has no concept of how the economy works or how killing small towns will eventually kill Fargo.
Hot debate. What do you think? 78 66
I applaud all the comments posted by Hickson, Oxbow, Bakke residents!! I too am a resident of Hickson (2 1/2 years). Yes, I am “new” to that area but can say that there is a bigger sense of “community” than anywhere in the FM area!!! Everyone knows everybody and is more than willing to help there neighbor no matter what financial demographic you land in. ‘Ashley’ hit the nail on the head with her comment on here!!
Also, the amount of ignorance shown by fargo residents posting on here makes me want to throw up! GO to a diversion meeting and actually learn something before you post a noneducated comment. You wouldn’t look like such fools then…
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 69 50
Clearly you like your neighborhood, but so do lots of people (in and out of Fargo). Somebody is going to get the shaft on this. I understand not wanting it to be you. I’d feel the exact same way, but it going to be somebody. Even if the ultimate solution is moving houses in town back from the river and building permanent levees, neighborhoods will be lost, houses will be gone, and families will be forced to move.
At this point, I’m more swayed by financial reasons than I am by sentimental ones, because everybody is going to want to stay, but somebody is going to have to go. That’s just the way it is. There is no magic bullet. I want to implement the practical solution that causes the least pain, but even in that, I know that somebody won’t be happy. It’s not personal.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 45 19
Tushay Omega. Just venting my frustration of reading some of the misinformed comments on here is all.
Like or Dislike: 17 6
I hear ya! I understand venting, too. I’d do the same. It would be tough not to assume that it’s “us against the world”, and the way some people comment on message boards certainly doesn’t help… anonymity doesn’t agree with some people.
Like or Dislike: 21 8
I live in Fargo in one of the historic neighborhoods. I disagree that there is not a stong sense of communityin Fargo and that it is just limited to Oxbow. There certainly can be and is a sense of community in the larger city of Fargo, but it may be confined to individual neighborhoods and I would say my own neighborhood has many instances where we look out for one another, help one other and are generally supportive.
Our neighbhorhood, Hawthorne, went through the dstruction of many homes near the Red River about 5 decades ago and though it was no doubt very difficult for the sense of community to see these homes destroyed, I believe the neighborhood prevailed as the earthen dike which was built has helped save flooding for us in our area.
I have sympathy for Oxbow residents as I have sympathy for all who have or will lose their homes and their sense of community. I don’t like stereotyping Oxbow but I like even less stereotypinhg Fargoans. I don’t believe we are fools.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 46 28
the corp of engineers needs to look at the whole eastern ND and Western Minn water problem from Bigstone to Canada north to south and Bismarck to Park Rapids East to West or we are just wasting our time and money.maybe have allready but just my opinion and I haven’t about it.makes me wonder when every time i look the plans seem to get altered.good luck to all of us!!!!!!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 31 5
Why do people keep saying that they live out there so they don’t have to pay?? These people pay taxes just like everyone else. How would you like to pay property taxes on a home that because of this whole mess is worth nothing??They do thier grocery shopping, dining out, general shopping, work, doctor, etc. in Fargo and in Moorhead. What is the comment about an Escalade in the driveway?? I think that it is quite immature of some people to make these comments and wonder it they are jealous instead of trying to make a stand regarding the diversion. From a couple of comments on here recently I get the impression that some think that just because these people have worked hard, provided well for their families and enjoy some of the perks in life that is enough reason to flood them out. GROW UP!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 56 25
So people that live in oxbow, hickson, bakke aren’t allowed a nice lifestyle outside of fargo city limits without paying huge taxes? O.H.B doesn’t have a lot of “conveniences” that fargo’s taxes pay for like police patrol, stop lights, city maintenance, batteries for the clocks going into developments, street sweepers, etc. So the fact that people want to live outside of fargo and have accepted inconviences of having to drive more than a block for a loaf of bread or gallon of gas makes them wrong? Seems like they are the smart ones getting more for there money living outside the “cozy” confines of fargo/moorhead and in return putting up with a little daily hassle….without complaining no less!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 52 15
Am I missing something, but why canâ€™t they just throw a ring dike around these affected communities? Theyâ€™d just be like Oslo, MN in the years that it floods, as I have to presume it wonâ€™t flood like it has EVERY YEAR moving forward. Theyâ€™re talking 1-3â€™ of water being stored during floods as I recall, so whatâ€™s the need for mass buyouts? I didnâ€™t read through all the comments or previous articles word for word, so if someone already said this I apologize in advance.
Like or Dislike: 19 8
The Forum is incorrect in stating there will only be a 1 to 3 ft impact. The actual amounts are between 6.7 to 7.7 ft of water. http://www.internationalwaterinstitute.org/feasibility/110302Upstream100yearOxbow.pdf
During all of the flood years stemming back to 1997 Hickson & Bakke never have even had to dike or sandbag. They are on high elevation. Even a good portion of Oxbow never flooded. What was presented in the media was very misleading.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 32 4
Thanks Dan, that’s a good reference. That would have to be a fairly tall ring dike, eh? OK then, nevermind! So was it just Oxbow that had to sandbag as some people reference here in previous years?
Like or Dislike: 13 2
Yes. Out of these areas Oxbow was the only one who had to sandbag…but not the entire city. The news made it look like the entire city was inundated. NOT true. This year, in fact, they didn’t get a drop of water. As you can see from the link, this “diversion” is first & foremost a dam. These areas never had water issues before & then to put that much water on them is unbelievable. This is why many of the residents are upset. There’s no way of fighting something like that. People also need to know this water will not only impact these areas but the other surrounding areas further south as well.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 37 1
We both know the amount of water that will be coming in during a flood. When they say upstream staging area – are they going to dredge out this area also to make a sort of lake to hold the water or just leave as is? I’m foreseeing a huge area – way larger than they are talking about and areas that have never flooded before that will be flooded if the diversion.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 18 0
I’m sure the people who have lived here for many years will say there is a sense of community in the area. However, for the 3 years I have been visiting friends in the area, never once did I feel a sense of people feeling “like family”
My ever-lasting impression of Oxbow will always be when I was at the Knickerbocker sandbagging, as we were all very frantic to try and save the community. There were some Oxbow residents, as we were delivering sandbags to other houses, screaming and yelling at us that we weren’t getting to their house fast enough. Then, when we were delivering them, they continued to yell and complain that we weren’t saving their house fast enough, and they just watched us.
I have sat in on Hickson community meetings, and have watched argument after argument ensue about forming a homeowners organization–the argument being “well, we want all the amenities in Fargo while being rural”. Um…you can’t live in the country and expect to have all the city amenities.
Maybe there are others that remember “the good ol’ days” before the whole country club scene or something. Because many of my memories have been negative, and I know my buddy is welcoming the buyout check.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but historically (before settlement), wasn’t this area a pretty big swampland anyways???
Hot debate. What do you think? 31 24
You obviously do not know Oxbow. I have gone to many events and meetings and have hung out at the Knicker more times than I can count and everyone there is welcoming. I have been to the club and the people there are nicer then alot of people I have met in Fargo or any other town. Have you considered that the people “screaming and yelling” at you are going through a very emotional time in their life. They might not be helping sandbag because they have children they have to watch or maybe they have a health problem? I’m sure they are grateful for your help in their time of need! Its hard to look out the window everyday, watching the water inch closer. You lose your mind and a little of your self control when you could lose everything that you value. Did these people not thank you for your help after? If they didnt I’m sure they would feel horrible knowing that they hurt you.
Like or Dislike: 17 12
We have watched the river come up in our backyard inch by inch for the last 3 years just trying it’s darnest to overtake us. It is not fun and is a very stressful time in everybody’s lives, however, screaming and yelling doesn’t help the situation. In our neighborhood, we have several residents that have had heart attacks, breathing problems, back problems, cancer and some with small children. Everyone, no matter what their health problem, was out doing what they could to help not screaming at others. Those unable to actually work called in their kids and friends. A couple ladies took care of the children so their parents could be out sandbagging. Our neighborhood provided hot food and drinks for the sandbaggers. We made it work. No excuses. No one just watched and expected the volunteers to do all the work. These were our homes and those that were able worked side by side with the volunteers. That’s the way it’s done. We couldn’t have done it without the awesome volunteers.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 22 0
“Correct me if Iâ€™m wrong, but historically (before settlement), wasnâ€™t this area a pretty big swampland anyways???”
Along with fargo…
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 41 10
I would have to say in regard to the comment that there is a “bigger sense of â€œcommunityâ€ than anywhere in the FM area!!! Everyone knows everybody and is more than willing to help there neighbor no matter what financial demographic you land in” is a fine but please don’t say that those of us that reside in Fargo don’t have a big sense of community because we do. We know everyone in our neighborhood, are more than willing to help each other and work together to make our neighborhood a great place to live. Every community, whether big or small, has the same goal The comment on the ignorance and uneducated residents of Fargo is offensive. I certainly don’t want to see your small communities disappear and my heart goes out to you if this were to happen. No one wants to lose their homes. Many Fargo and Moorhead residents have lost homes that they have been in for years. Do you think they liked it any better than you? They had memories too and are now creating new ones. As long as you are a family, does it really matter where your home is?
Hot debate. What do you think? 21 22
Some commenters seem to want to “group” people into some sort of category…they’re too rich, they have too much, they yelled at us, they don’t have neighborhoods, etc…..Face it, this is an ugly situation and people are going to get hurt. This article was about the pain of losing your home, your neighbors, your school, your community. If you (including me) aren’t facing a forced buy out, the river flooding you, the overland flooding taking over your property, a diversion or some other flood plan leaving you on the wrong side – we do not know what these people are going through. There are people that live in these small communities because they don’t want to live in the “city” per se – they chose to live there – you don’t know what they sacrificed to choose their home or their location.
Show a little empathy and play nice – if you don’t have something nice to say, just scroll on by. Love, Mom
Hot debate. What do you think? 29 21
I am writing on behalf of my family, and my grandmother who still owns and resides in her home in Hickson, ND. When I first heard news of the flood plan, I was devastated. I have so many memories as a small child, playing in the park at the community center in Hickson. More recently, my fathers funeral took place last June in the small white church on the south side of Hickson. I am still speechless that there isn’t another solution. How can it be that the only way to solve the flooding issue is to virtually drown dozens and dozens of homes? People need to think outside the box, think smarter. From the small research I’ve done, there are fields on the MN side of the river. I’ve read about one man’s proposed idea to create a ‘man made’ lake, and natural grasslands area by diverting the water. Having grown up in the historic Hawthorne neighborhood of Fargo, I understand flooding. I’ve shopvacked more water out of my childhood basement in my lifetime than I care to mention. What I don’t understand is deliberately destroying people’s homes and lives. As people keep throwing out the elite stereotyped status of residents in Oxbow, no one has cared to mention the residents of Hickson who are also impacted by these irational proposals. I can assure you that my grandmother does not drive an Escalade, nor do her neighbhors in Hickson, nor does it ultimately matter what type of car a person owns. Bottom line, there has to be another solution to this problem.
Please, do not flood my grandmother’s home.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 43 8
I hope they aren’t using my federal or state tax dollars to buy anyone out–I, like your congressman Berg, am against federal or state handouts. You choose to live in a flood prone–choices have consequences just as elections do.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 15 30
If you read my postings above you will note that these areas are NOT flood prone. The only area that has ever received water was Oxbow & that was only a portion of the city. These people are not looking for hand-outs. They would like to stay where they’re at.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 30 2
I guess I should have been more clear–I don’t want any federal or state handouts to Fargo to buy anyone out, build a diversion, dike, pay for their flood fight this year, etc. Fargo overwhelmingly supported Mr. Berg in the 2010 election and he said in September 2010 he was absolutely against people getting handouts so I expect Fargo to pull themselves up by the sandbags and pay for everything themselves. They joined with the people of ND in expressing their agreement about this issue by their vote now I expect them to put their own money where their vote was or possibly were they referring to everyone else being personally responsible for choices.
If the people of Oxbow want to stay–fine with me but I don’t want to reimburse for any flood fight with my tax dollars.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 11 26
This was in Grand Forks. 1997-98 â€“ About 850 properties are purchased by the city through a voluntary buyout program designed to remove structures from high-risk flood areas. The $40-million buyout was funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the State of North Dakota and the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development.
1998 â€“ Approximately $42 million in local, state and federal funds is spent to repair or replace damaged city sewer and water lines, streets and other infrastructure.
So, why was it ok for tax dollars to be spent for buyouts , etc. in GF but not ok for your neighbors to the North?
Like or Dislike: 12 6
I am making a point about hypocrites who with one hand pulled the voting lever for Mr. Berg and now have the other hand stuck out for federal dollars. You may recall Mr. Berg shouting from the rooftops about no more federal handouts. You can’t have it both ways–no federal handouts means no federal handouts even for you.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 6 21
No federal handouts wouldn’t be so bad if the federal government didn’t always have it’s “hand out” for our money. Could you explain what the difference is between the federal government providing housing and almost endless aid and rebuilding for the people of New Orleans after Katrina and the people of North Dakota who get flooded out. Oh,I get it. The people of North Dakota have to be punished because they voted for someone liberals don’t like. Down in New Orleans there are still people living in FEMA supplied housing more than 5 years later. New Orleans-good. North Dakota-bad.
Like or Dislike: 14 3
It doesn’t matter if people are from the F/M area, rural communities or who any of them voted for, people are looking for a solution to the flooding situation so what gives you the right to call people hypocrites or anything else for that matter? They are not looking for handouts.
Like or Dislike: 11 8
What about this?
Apr 7, 2011 Issues: Congressional Issues, Defense and National Security Washington, D.C. This afternoon, Congressman Rick Berg spoke with Federal Emergency Management Administrator Craig Fugate and was assured of FEMAâ€™s assistance in the event of a flood.
â€œItâ€™s critical that our communities are supported during a flood event,â€ Congressman Berg stated. â€œA prompt emergency declaration is vital so that North Dakotans have the support and certainty they need.â€
Yesterday, Congressman Berg again called on President Obama to approve Governor Darympleâ€™s request for a Presidential Emergency Declaration, which was sent 41 days ago. Fugate told Congressman Berg today that the request is under review and is moving through FEMAâ€™s administrative process.
In the event that the Senate or President Obama fails to act on H.R. 1363, the short-term budget measure passed by the House today, and shuts down the federal government, FEMAâ€™s emergency response for a potential flood should be unaffected. Congressman Berg was assured by Fugate today that FEMAâ€™s relief efforts for a Presidential Declared Disaster are funded by the federal Disaster Relief Fund, which would not be impacted by a possible government shut down.
Like or Dislike: 6 2
Mr. Sandbagman–the definition of a hypocrite is one who says one thing and does another so I really think supporting Rick Berg who publically stated he was against federal handouts and then asking for a federal handout is hypocritical. Your statement the people of Fargo aren’t looking for a handout–just what do you think FEMA money is–it is federal money gotten from the taxpayers of America–the catch phrase “support from FEMA” means free federal money which by definition is a handout.
And Autumndeer–your post about everything Mr. Berg is doing to get FEMA handouts just proves he is a hypocrite as well.
I thank both of you very much for once again proving my assertion that federal handouts for others are wasteful government spending but when the money benefits us it is richly deserved and why, my gosh, in our case free federal money just isn’t a handout–it is “support.”
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 5 17
People don’t yet realize how extensive the impact of the diversion would be. It’s not that Oxbow was “left outside the protection of the diversion,” as the article states. Rather, it would be destroyed by the diversion itself. Oxbow is included in a huge 33,000 acre area that will be converted to a storage area south of the diversion, a “flowage area” covering 33,000 acres of prime farmland and as well as communities including Oxbow, Hickson, and Bakke, and a large area of farmland in the Kindred School District. It extends into Richland County, flooding Christine and beyond and including a large area of the Richland 44 (Colfax) school district. It also affects Comstock and surrounding farmland in Minnesota. The diversion “works” by removing the people who live in this vast area, removing the homes and farm buildings, and allowing the farmland to be flooded when the diversion is in operation. 804 structures including approximately 405 residential properties may be affected. When the full extent of the adverse impacts are understood, we can expect this project to be more expensive and much more complicated that it looks on the surface. We’ve only begun to fathom the enormity of this project.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 24 3
I would like to see something that would work for the good of all those along the Red River without small communities being eliminated. The firm that worked with the Corps of Engineers in the Grand Forks levee project was Shannon and Wilson from the Seattle area. They are a geotechnical and consulting firm. They play a key role in the design and construction of many challenging endeavors, both public and private. Perhaps this is something that should be looked into. They seem to have done an excellent job along with the Corps in the Grand Forks project. The cost would be a lot less than a diversion. Just another option.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 21 0
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