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Published May 21, 2013, 03:42 PM

Heavy rains postpone Devils Lake outlet opening

The recent rain has dumped more than three of inches of water on the Lake Region. The extra water means the region will have to wait longer for the two Devils Lake outlets to turn on and bring much needed flood relief.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

The recent rain has dumped more than three of inches of water on the Lake Region. The extra water means the region will have to wait longer for the two Devils Lake outlets to turn on and bring much needed flood relief.

The state water commission says the outlets were likely to start pumping this week but that plan is being put on hold thanks to the rain.

The Lake Region was hit hard by the rain, but it's rain downstream that will cause the most headaches. The excess water had raised levels in the Sheyenne River, which was nearly low enough to take on water from the Devils Lake outlets. This means rainfall in the Devils Lake basin will drain into the lake without anywhere else to go. It's estimated this storm will add about six inches to the lake before the outlets can be turned on.

Jeff Frith, Devils Lake Basin Joint Board: "We could have handled...an inch of moisture would have been sufficient and adequate, anything above and beyond that is really surplus."

There's not a set timetable for turning on the pumps now. We simply have to wait for water levels in the Sheyenne to drop again. The state water commission says the rain brought one silver lining. The fresh rain water will help alleviate concerns over the quality of the water being pumped from Devils Lake.

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