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Devils Lake Outlets Remain Idle as Sheyenne River Still at Flood - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Devils Lake Outlets Remain Idle as Sheyenne River Still at Flood Stage

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  The Sheyenne River remains at flood stage and that's causing a problem with the outlets on Devils Lake.

  Despite some very strong wind gusts, ice still covers the main body of Devils Lake. It prevented a massive buildup of waves and ice on this windy day. And after more than one-billion dollars worth of road, levee and infrastructure improvements in this area, the largest remaining problem is flooded farmland.

Kristen Nelsen, Emergency Manager: "Absolutely. We still have over 150,000 acres under water. 180,000 acres…"

  But, that flooded farmland won't be getting a break from the water for quite some time yet. Here at the far, east end of Devils Lake at connecting Stump Lake, the outlet pumps that drain water into the Sheyenne River sit idle.

  The outlet pumps on the far west end of the lake are also not running yet.

  The problem is that the nearby Sheyenne River is still running at full capacity, as it makes it's way through Valley City, Lisbon and then on to Fargo.

 Jeff Frith, D.L. Basin Board: "Probably a good week or two anyway. The flows are still high in the upper Sheyenne. So, we have to wait until those subside and obviously wait for the ice to come off Devils Lake. That should be within the next day or two."

  Once the Sheyenne River drops and the outlet pumps can begin running, it will take those pumps all season to drop the lake a foot and a half. That's about the same amount as the increase forecast on the lake this season by the National Weather Service.

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