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WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 12, 2013, 09:29 PM

Potential ring dike could be threatening homes and farmland

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- The plan to build the FM diversion would surely save a lot of homes, a lot of work all across the valley, and people of Christine, Oxbow, Hickson and Bakke don't doubt that. What they do worry about is a potential ring dike, they say, threatens homes and thousands of acres of farmland.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- The plan to build the FM diversion would surely save a lot of homes, a lot of work all across the valley, and people of Christine, Oxbow, Hickson and Bakke don't doubt that. What they do worry about is a potential ring dike, they say, threatens homes and thousands of acres of farmland.

For those who've seen the water rise, you're probably all in when it comes to protecting Fargo. It's not the same story for those who live south of here. And tonight they were looking for answers.

Dennis Biewer - Bakke Addition Resident: "We are not in favor of it."

Dennis Biewer has called the Bakke Addition his home for more than 13 years, so it seems only natural he's less than happy about flood water invading it.

Dennis Biewer: "It seems like there are some voices out there that aren't being heard."

For years the Diversion Authority has been working to protect the Red River Valley from, well, the Red River. But when they proposed a potential ring dike, residents south of Fargo along I-29 were not impressed.

Dennis Biewer: "What happens with hydraulic pressure when they start putting 7-8 feet of water around our development?"

Hundreds of questions have been circling the region, but they've been left without answers, no guarantees.

Dennis Biewer: "they're just saying that your house values are going to come back but we have nothing to show forth that that's going to happen."

People packed the Christine Community Center hoping to hear more about this plan; more details.

Darrell Vonyo - Cass County Commissioner: "It's no different than any levee that's along the Red River or the Red River Basin."

Darrell Vanyo and Keith Berndt of Cass County showed up to provide perspective of the ring dike; the plan which 60% of Christine did not approve.

Keith Burnt - Clay County Engineer: "It'll be designed so if you have a major rain storm when there is water on the levee, there will be sufficient pumping capacity to ensure that the inside stay dry."

Both Vanyo and Burnt promise the ring dike will be built under the Army Corps of Engineer standards, but for people of Christine, Hickson, Oxbow and Bakke, it's just not enough.

Dennis Biewer - Bakke Addition Resident: "What could happen? We don't know that. and nobody is giving up any promises or answers."

If plans keep moving ahead, construction for the ring dike could begin as early as 2014.

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