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Published February 20, 2011, 07:40 PM

A Grand Forks Family Moves To Neighborhood Prone to Flooding

It's a unique situation... A Grand Forks family moves to a flood prone neighborhood to get out of the city. But now, there's a significant chance their area may flood.

It's a unique situation...

A Grand Forks family moves to a flood prone neighborhood to get out of the city.

But now, there's a significant chance their area may flood..

Surprisingly, the family isn't too concerned, as you might think.

Heather Elton and her family moved to the Burke Addition to escape the city life..

"It's a great place for the kids. I don't worry about them when they're running around the yard." Heather said.

They knew the dangers of living in this neighborhood.

It's next to a coulee that floods every spring.

But that didn't stop them from buying the property.

"A lot of residents have lived out here a very long time and are well prepared." Heather said.

The family moved to Lake Drive a little over a year ago with flood protection already in place behind their house.

"We knew the risks but we feel pretty well protected." Heather said.

Many homeowners near the coulee built dikes after the 2009 flood.

Then, water got so high, people east of the coulee had to use boats to get to and from their homes.

Now, new homeowners like the Eltons are stuck paying for flood insurance.

"The previous owners had it and we just never let it lapse." Heather said.

The Eltons aren't sure what to expect.

They haven't battled floodwaters before, but may very well this spring.

The National Weather Service predicts an 80-percent chance of water getting as high in Grand Forks as it did in 2009.

"Similar to the last couple years it was a very wet fall and froze, the system is very high with water right now. Some actual record flows for this time of year we're seeing at a lot of the observing stations in the Red River Basin." meteorologist Dave Kellenbenz said.

The flood forecast worries some homeowners..

But others have peace of mind, knowing most of their neighbors have forged their ways through rising water in the past..

"It's a good community out here, there's a lot of support, everybody really knows what to do in case something happens." Heather said.

The Weather Service says all points along the Red River have a more than 90 percent risk of major flooding.

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