Dalyrmple, state officials meet to discuss Devils Lake outlet openingGovernor Jack Dalrymple, along with other state leaders met with Lake Region officials today to discuss exactly when the two Devils Lake outlets can finally start taking water off of the lake.
By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ
Governor Jack Dalrymple, along with other state leaders met with Lake Region officials today to discuss exactly when the two Devils Lake outlets can finally start taking water off of the lake.
State officials say the answer to that riddle relies on the cooperation of Mother Nature. The wet winter has caused near-record inflows into the lake, but recent rain storms have kept the outlets from pumping any of that water out of the lake. The Outlet Advisory Committee discussed the problem today in Carrington. The east end outlet was nearly ready to go two weeks ago, before significant rains caused a delay. Now, officials say they have to wait for the Sheyenne River flow to drop by about half, or else they risk downstream flooding. But they also stressed the need to remove as much water off Devils Lake as possible. This year's spring inflow will be the fourth-largest on record. State Engineer Todd Sando says the key is balancing the needs of Devils Lake and downstream communities.
Even with the urgency, state leaders say they have no idea when the outlets will finally be turned on. The National Weather Service did provide an updated lake level outlook. There's a 50 percent chance Devils Lake will rise to within six inches of the all time high reached in 2011.