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Published May 13, 2013, 04:12 PM

Despite upcoming melt, Devils Lake outlets likely weeks from opening

Warm temperatures this week will help melt ice on Devils Lake removing one of the final obstacles before the the Devils Lake outlets can be turned on for the season. But officials say we're still likely weeks away from seeing water pumped off the lake.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

Warm temperatures this week will help melt ice on Devils Lake removing one of the final obstacles before the the Devils Lake outlets can be turned on for the season. But officials say we're still likely weeks away from seeing water pumped off the lake.

The ice is rapidly melting from Devils Lake, but we'll still have to wait for water levels to drop downstream before starting the pumps. Flooding hasn't been as severe as originally predicted, but levels are still high in the Sheyenne River. Local officials say most of the ice on Devils Lake should be gone in about a week, but it'll likely be another week before water levels downstream can handle Devils Lake water. The state water commission says flows in the Sheyenne must be below 600 cubic feet per second before the pumps can operate. Even then, the outlets won't be able to go at full blast.

Local officials say they've promised downstream communities like Valley City that water from the outlets would not cause any damage. The hope is that the Sheyenne will be low enough to handle the outlet water by the first of June.

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