WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 22, 2010, 09:28 AM

Subdivision homeowners unite against new diversion plan

Hickson, ND (WDAY TV) - A united front. That's what some in the city of Oxbow and the Bakke and Hickson subdivisions are trying to create against the Army Corps of Engineers' revised diversion plan. It includes upstream storage cells and could send an additional 3-7 feet of water to those areas during a flood.

After a meeting, neighbors in Oxbow are looking at how about 100-homeowners can band together, to show how the plan won't work for their communities.

Another meeting will be held tomorrow night with Hickson and Bakke subdivision homeowners. But it might be somewhat of a challenge, being these two developments are homeowners without a "city" governing body to move forward collectively.

MARCUS LARSON/HOMEOWNER: "It was just like a punch in the stomach."

That's how Marcus Larson describes picking up last week's morning paper to read that his family's Victorian home and nearly 5 acres may be lost in the new diversion plan. Now he wants to fight, during a time that's feels more like the dead of winter than flood season.

LARSON: "There should be a letter in the mailbox, a knock on your door, not something that you have to hope you catch."

Oxbow's Mayor Jim Nyhof met with Oxbow city residents Sunday to get organized with facts and figures for the Metro Flood Group and Army Corps, possibly even legal council if it comes to that.

JIM: "We're going to have the technical reasons that the Corps needs to take a look at. There are good reasons to move this diversion and have Oxbow included in it."

But hurdles, like Hickson and Bakke not being governed by a city, may pose problems. Nyhof is hoping tomorrow's assembly can put that aside to fight for their homes.

JIM: "It was a bombshell and you know we're going to take a strong stance on it and we don't want to lose our community."

The meeting will be at the Hickson Community Center at 7:00 tomorrow night. The Metro Flood Study Group is planning to go to Oxbow next week to present the latest diversion plan. Nyhof says they plan to show the study group their thoughts then.