WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 15, 2011, 10:18 PM

No Strangers to Flooding, Some Oslo Residents Forced to Move

OSLO, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Most of us are getting ready for winter, but one small Minnesota town is gearing up for spring.

OSLO, MN (WDAZ-TV) - Most of us are getting ready for winter, but one small Minnesota town is gearing up for spring.

In Oslo, space is being cleared for a new dike and 26 property owners in its path have less than 100 days to decide how to get out of the way.

Construction of an improved levee that is up to FEMA standards is planned for next spring.

Some people have already taken matters into their own hands.

"I've never been through anything like this," Marge Veralrud, who had to relocate her house said.

Marge and Richard Veralrud decided small town living was right for them many years ago.

"We decided we wanted to stay as Richard has lived here all his life and we've been married for 50 years so I've been here quite a while also," Marge said.

As the city starts to clear space for a 2,000 foot levee that will go up in the spring, 26 properties are in the dike's path.

The Veralrud's decided to act early. They moved their home two months ago, which was a very new experience for the couple.

"The heating system wasn't quite right when they set it back down and some of the pipes for water and sewage weren't quite right, so we had to deal with that," Marge said.

Homeowners are offered several options with incentives if they choose to stay in town. Local businesses gathered funds to help neighbors out.

"We make an offer to purchase the home from them, there is some relocation too where they retain ownership of the house and have it moved," Oslo mayor Scott Kosmatka said.

One of the homes was for sale in a recent public auction as well as three city-owned lots.

If the city buys the other 25 properties they will be auctioned off by spring.

People like the Veralrud's are just happy to have a lot for their home only two blocks away from where it used to be.

"We did check on other houses in Oslo and then also pre-fab or reconstructed homes that could be moved in and then we'd get back home from our little journey and say "nah, we like our little house so I think we'll move it," Marge said.