Advertise in Print | Subscriptions
Published August 04, 2009, 08:04 AM

Rural landscape becoming noisy

Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) - A rural Barnes County couple had planned to enjoy retirement by moving back to North Dakota. But Dennis and Cathryn Stillings are finding a changed landscape even noisy. As WDAY 6 Reporter Kevin Wallevand tells us, the prairie has a different look and sound.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) - A rural Barnes County couple had planned to enjoy retirement by moving back to North Dakota. But Dennis and Cathryn Stillings are finding a changed landscape even noisy. As WDAY 6 Reporter Kevin Wallevand tells us, the prairie has a different look and sound.

Northeast of Valley City, the soybean fields have company. More than 50-wind turbines have joined the farm landscape.

“The asset of the ND landscape is what my wife calls the great silence.”

Dennis Stillings and his wife Cathryn moved back to their native North Dakota two years ago; not a wind turbine in site.

“We would never do this again; no if we had known we would not have looked at the property.”

It’s not so much the look of the wind farms, it’s the noise.

“It never stops, except if the wind stops. If the wind is blowing some write poetic lines winds through the prairie grasses you will not hear that hear, sound of grasses and plus wind turbines grinding away.

“It is on all the time, it is louder at night. It is hard to get to sleep.”

The noise issue will not go away in nearby Minnesota, the dept of health and PUC are looking into the noise issue and some groups are calling for regulations so that wind towers are building further away from homes.

Windy days are worse than others, a grinding moaning sound coming from the turbines 600-yards away.

“I hate to sound like a wimp I would like to claim my Dakota roots but it does have an effect on how I feel.”

They moved back to the state for this, rolling hills, gold and green. They love the view. It's the noise they could do without. Minnesota now requires wind turbines meet a 50-decibel sound limit. That means most turbines are a thousand feet or more from homes.

Tags: