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Forum editorial: Oxbow's flood focus pays off

The small residential city of Oxbow, N.D., about eight miles south of Fargo, wasted no time in building flood protection for itself. After the floods of 2009 and 2010, city leaders and residents got serious about permanent levees to protect the c...

The small residential city of Oxbow, N.D., about eight miles south of Fargo, wasted no time in building flood protection for itself. After the floods of 2009 and 2010, city leaders and residents got serious about permanent levees to protect the city from the sure-to-flood Red River and its tributaries.

The $500,000 project is not big as flood works go in the Red River Valley. But for Oxbow's residents, the project is huge. The city cobbled together money from the North Dakota Water Commission (about 60 percent of the total), $80,000 from the Southeast Cass Water District, and the rest from local sources. Work began last fall and was nearing completion this week - just in time for the spring melt.

The Oxbow story might not be unique. Surely other cities have moved quickly to fund and build protection, especially after the scare the region experienced in the record flood of 2009. But the Oxbow story certainly is a lesson in how to focus attention on a legitimate need, secure funding and hire contractors to get the work done. As reported earlier this week in The Forum, the people of Oxbow can be a little more relaxed this spring when the water rises, which it will do in the next couple of weeks. That peace of mind is worth every dime that's gone into the earthen levees that will keep floodwaters out of town.

City officials and others who worked on Oxbow's project have done an outstanding job.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper's Editorial Board.

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