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Dave Olson, Published March 17 2010

City of Moorhead says reusable buyout homes should be OK

Earlier this spring, the city of Moorhead was hoping that about two dozen flood buyout homes earmarked for reuse could be moved to safe ground before a flood.

So far, only two have been trucked out of harm’s way.

But a city official said Tuesday if current flood predictions of a crest at 39 feet or lower hold, the remainder of the houses should come out all right, even though some will end up on the wet side of temporary clay dikes.

Several homes are in areas where basements are at risk of flooding, but structures themselves should remain dry, according to Peter Doll, the city’s manager of development services.

He said three or four houses that remain on their original lots have been placed upon blocks in preparation for moving them and then chained to foundations, steps that provide additional flood protection.

“If we could have gotten them all elevated, we would have. But it just got too wet and muddy on us when that rain started,” Doll said.

Five homes located near the entrance to Gooseberry Park will be on the dry side of a dike, so there is little risk those houses will flood, according to Doll.

The city has inked an agreement with Recycle Homes, a subsidiary of a South Dakota house moving company, to buy at least 10 homes from the city at a price of $10,000 each.

Doll said Recycle Homes has said it plans to buy about 24 homes the city feels are reusable, and he said he expects that will still happen.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555