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Published April 30, 2013, 03:57 PM

Lowered Red River flood forecast may mean good news for Devils Lake

People in the Lake Region are hoping the recent good news about flooding in the Red River valley spreads to the Devils Lake. With less severe flooding than anticipated they hope to be able to turn on the two Devils Lake outlets sooner than expected.

People in the Lake Region are hoping the recent good news about flooding in the Red River valley spreads to the Devils Lake. With less severe flooding than anticipated they hope to be able to turn on the two Devils Lake outlets sooner than expected.

While there's optimism here that the outlets can start pumping sooner, but experts warn people not to hold their breath. Local officials say they hope the outlets can start running by the middle of May. Previous projections showed the pumps starting at the end of May. Although flows in the Red River aren't expected to be as high as originally thought, the outlets still have to wait until both the Red and Sheyenne River are below flood stage to be turned on. There's also the matter of ice on Devils Lake -- still about 30 inches thick. But officials hope Mother Nature will cooperate enough to get the pumps running soon.

Jeff Frith, Devils Lake Joint Basin Water Board: "A lot of it again is gonna be determined from our weather patterns between now and then and how soon the ice goes out and when the rivers in the Sheyenne and the Red drop below flood stage."

This is the first year both Devils Lake outlets will run the entire season. Officials hope they can remove more than a foot of water off the lake this summer. The National Weather Service hasn't updated its Devils Lake flood forecast like it has been with the Red River. Local officials hope to get an updated flood projection soon.

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