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Riverbanks, property values on County Commission agenda

12/24/09 (Thu)

The Mercer County Commission sent a letter to area power producers saying that riverbank erosion could threaten power lines going across the Knife River. It also voted to assist with reassessment of property values in Beulah and Hazen and possibly other communities in the county.

The power lines cross the river near John Lamsters’ residence west of Stanton. Three lines cross the river at that point. A right angle bend in the river makes the north bank susceptible to erosion. In the spring flood of 2009, approximately half the bank between the river’s old course and three power poles was washed away. Another event of similar magnitude could eat away the rest of the embankment and cause the poles to collapse. These poles carry power from the area’s power plants to the power grid, so a disruption could have widespread consequences.