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In an injunction dated May 13, 2015, John R. Tunheim, U.S. district judge in Minneapolis, ordered work on the Oxbow-Hickson-Bakke Ring Levee Project to stop until the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources completes its environmental review of the FM Area Diversion Project.

“While we are still reviewing the decision with our legal counsel, we are extremely disappointed with the news, and are concerned about what this means for the hundreds of citizens who live within the levee footprint and who will now be back in limbo,” said Darrell Vanyo, Chairman of the Flood Diversion Board of Authority. “We have and will continue to work with the Minnesota DNR on its Environmental Impact Statement, and do everything in our power to keep that on schedule.”

The Oxbow-Hickson Bakke ring levee is designed to protect these communities from existing flooding and to protect against water that would be stored upstream of Fargo-Moorhead by the Diversion Project. Since construction began last year on the Project, residents’ lives and real estate prices had stabilized, and the limbo state about their future had been removed.