WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published April 03, 2011, 09:04 AM

Homeowners battle rising waters without help from the city

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) - Some frustrated homeowners south of Grand Forks are again preparing for rising waters; all without the city's help. So one man isn't wasting any time to get his boat and flood fighting materials ready.

By: Lezlie Johnson, WDAY

As warmer temperatures move into the area, homeowners like Mark Satek start to worry.

MARK SATEK - Concerned Homeowner: “There's been quite a bit of talk about it this year. Everybody’s kind of bracing themselves for what they think it's going to be.”

The coulee in the Burke addition floods every year. Most homeowners have to pay for their own flood protection. Those on East Lake Drive even have to take a boat to get to the other side.

Satik is in the beginning stages of preparing for the potential flood by getting his boat ready, making arrangements with work and getting sandbags to protect his property.

MARK SATEK - Concerned Homeowner: “Probably start getting some sand, probably the end of the week. Get a load or two; make sure we have enough sandbags to cover the area.”

In 2009, Satik spent about 48 hundred dollars for more than 26-hundred sandbags. The county reimbursed him for half that, but he hasn't been reimbursed for the six thousand dollars he spent to build a dike to 53 feet.

MARK SATEK - Concerned Homeowner: “I'm self-employed. I have a small construction company in town here so yeah if we can get more jobs to cover some of the stuff, we're definitely doing it.”

Although people living here have tried to get federal funding for a bridge over 62nd Avenue, they haven't been successful.

MARK SATEK - Concerned Homeowner: “The last hydrology test and engineering report we got put the bridge at over 1-million dollars.”

Homeowners are now left hoping the city will work with them on a solution to keep homes and families safe. Another homeowner is making a floating bridge to go across the coulee.

The small town of Hendrum is being cautious with spending money on flood protection. Mayor Curt Johannsen says there are not resources like larger cities. He doesn't want to spend money if dikes aren't needed.

The town will fill sandbags if needed. The federal government doesn't reimburse flood costs unless damage is extensive.