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Published July 19, 2012, 07:39 PM

$9M Tolna Coulee Control Structure Dedicated

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - On Thursday, a control structure designed to prevent catastrophic flooding was dedicated in the Lake Region. The Army Corps of Engineers was on hand to celebrate the dedication of the Tolna Coulee control.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - On Thursday, a control structure designed to prevent catastrophic flooding was dedicated in the Lake Region.

The Army Corps of Engineers was on hand to celebrate the dedication of the Tolna Coulee control.

Without the structure, Devils Lake overflow would devastate cities from Tolna down to Fargo.

The $9 million control structure is seen as a triumph of cooperation between the state and the Corps in an effort to protect downstream communities if Devils Lake overflows.

State and Army leaders cut the ribbon to celebrate the project's completion Thursday morning.

The structure was completed in May, less than 18 months after Governor Jack Dalrymple wrote the Corps asking for help.

The federal government spent $5.5 million on the project, while the state kicked in $3.5 million.

The structure controls the amount of water that flows from Stump Lake. It's not a dam, and lets water flow through naturally.

It will only be necessary if lake levels reach the natural overflow point.

"It's a dual purpose structure, to provide protection downstream of a catastrophic overflow, but it is to help allow the natural process to occur, so erosion and the potential that the lake could be lowered naturally also," North Dakota State Engineer Todd Sando said.

Without the structure, an overflow would send 14,000 cubic feet of water per second downstream, devastating cities from Tolna down to Fargo.

But with the control structure in place, only 3,000 cubic feet of water per second can flow from the lake.

The state will take over operation and maintenance of the structure now that the Corps has finished building it.

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