Backyard of West Fargo family disappearing into the Sheyenne River

Published: Dec. 11, 2019 at 10:07 PM CST
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The wet fall continues to plague communities up and down the Valley.

It's gotten so bad for one West Fargo family, their backyard is disappearing before their eyes.

It's a battle against mother nature.

"You can see the river from our house and we've just enjoyed the heck out of that aspect," neighbor Brian Boer says.

Boer and his wife, Sue, have lived right on the Sheyenne river north of I-94 for the past 25 years.

"This area near the river has dropped down two feet, our backyard is going off into the river," Boer says.

The Boer's yard used to be level, but over the course of several years, massive chunks of have fallen off into the water.

They use a shed in their backyard as a gauge. It's now less than 10 feet from the diversion.

The couple says the river levels are the lowest they've ever seen them. But, city engineers say, that's no accident.

"The river levels have been high this fall," West Fargo City Engineer Dustin Scott says. "Traditionally, we experience this in the spring, so we have had to shut the river gates to prevent flooding."

Several neighbors say they are looking forward to the completion of the diversion in hopes they won't lose anymore of their homes.

"The rapid flow of the water also creates erosion," Scott says. "It's kind of a two-fold. It might help with stability, but at the same time, it causes erosion."

Right now, engineers say there's not much that can be done.

They encourage neighbors to stay away and let mother nature take its course.

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