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Rural Harwood residents keep eyes on water in nearby fields

HARWOOD, N.D. - Residents of rural subdivisions southwest here are keeping an eye on pooling water in nearby fields, hoping they'll drain before rising any further.

"We're hoping for the best, but it's hard to tell since every year is different," Harwood resident Neil Larson said Monday morning.

Residents in Lake Shure Estates, four miles north of West Fargo, lost access to their homes during the April 2009 flood due to overland flooding. They used boats to ferry themselves to the nearest open roads out of their neighborhood.

Larson's home off 52nd Avenue North served as the boating dock for the neighborhood. Residents dubbed it "Larson's Landing."

He said neighborhood residents are prepared to use their boats again if necessary, but they hope construction work on a nearby culvert off Interstate 29 will help the fields drain easier this year and stave off higher waters.

Other residents in the subdivision were making their own preparations. Piles of sand were waiting to be poured into bags on some driveways, and one home already had the makings of a sandbag dike surrounding the property.

In Harwood, some sandbags are being added to supplement a low-lying portion of the westside dike, but so far there's not too much concern, Mayor Bill Rohrich said.

"The city of Harwood itself is in pretty good shape," Rohrich said. "The drainage is pretty well taken care of in town. ... We can handle quite a bit of water before there's a problem."