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WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 22, 2009, 08:15 AM

Culvert needed in Abercrombie for overland flooding

Abercrombie, ND (WDAY TV) - The small community of Abercrombie, North Dakota may have a possible solution to its wet, muddy, mess left after more than 10-inches of rain fell there last week. The city is negotiating with the owner of this farmland to build a burum and culvert along the border to protect the city from overland flood water.

By: Kelsey Soby, WDAY

Abercrombie, ND (WDAY TV) - The small community of Abercrombie, North Dakota may have a possible solution to its wet, muddy, mess left after more than 10-inches of rain fell there last week. The city is negotiating with the owner of this farmland to build a burum and culvert along the border to protect the city from overland flood water.

A slight downward elevation causes water from the field, nearly the size of Abercrombie, to flood the town. A dike was built this spring on the south side of the field to hold back water from the wild rice river.

People who live in Abercrombie hope the owner of the farmland will be sold on the idea because, as WDAY 6 Reporter Kelsey Soby explains, having him on board is key in keeping the city above water.

Just like the unwelcome guest it was, true to its unwelcome-guest-like character, the rain water in Abercrombie is slow to leave.

“It came down so heavy and I just said well I’m going to open my crawl space just to see what's in there, and I really got the shock of my life.”

Besides worrying more rain could bring this puddle into her home's main level, Barb's also a bit uneasy knowing the water in her neighborhood may be mixed with crop related chemicals and be breeding grounds for mosquitoes. She's all for putting an end to the mess.

The proposed burum would basically be a mound of dirt running along the north side of this cornfield, about three blocks long. That would protect the city from the south side. It would also cause water to be diverted into the Red River.

That option means Diane Fitzpatrick's backyard view could one day be a dirt pile of protection, but that's okay with her.

“It’s worth it; it really is, to protect our homes.”

“We just need it to stop all that water coming from the south part of town. Without it, we're just in the same rut every time we get rain or get flooding in the spring.”

Casey says you'll have a hard time finding anyone in this area, who does not support a divide between city and farm.

“Everybody around town's pretty sick of this water. We've been fighting it all spring and then you get wet and it starts raining again.”

With the potential for rain tonight and a good chance of showers tomorrow, people here are eager for a decision. The farm land owner did not return our calls. The issue will be discussed at tomorrow's city council meeting.

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