Parties to a federal lawsuit met today in Duluth, MN to discuss a path forward on the flood protection efforts planned for Oxbow, ND. A preliminary injunction has been in place for nearly two years, which has halted a flood protection project around Oxbow. United States Magistrate Judge Brisbois worked with the parties to reach an agreement on a path forward that would allow construction of the most critical portions of the flood protection for Oxbow to resume.
“This is a good day for the citizens of Oxbow,” said Oxbow Mayor Jim Nyhof. “We would like to have the entire preliminary injunction lifted, and asked the Court to lift it, but this agreement at least gives us certainty that we can immediately build the most critical portions of our flood protection system. We have been waiting for this news for a long time, and we’re happy to be moving forward.”
Construction of the levee along the eastern side of Oxbow, along with a large storm water pump station and internal drainage features, will resume later this year after final design and bidding is complete. When combined with future construction efforts planned after resolution of the litigation, Oxbow, Hickson, and Bakke will be fully protected against both natural flooding and the water that would be stored temporarily upstream of Fargo-Moorhead by the Diversion Project. The Parties continue to have significant disputes regarding the remaining protections and the Diversion Project overall, and this Agreement is not an admission by any party about any issue in the lawsuit.