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Published November 09, 2009, 10:58 PM

Red River Basin Committee Looks for Flood Solutions

Three states, one province, and two countries share the Red River and all its tributaries.

By: Renee Chmiel, WDAZ

Three states, one province, and two countries share the Red River and all its tributaries.

A group is working to bring people, organizations, and governments together to work on finding solutions to basin flooding concerns. The Red River Basin Commission is made up of representatives from different entities in North and South Dakota, Minnesota and Manitoba.

Right now it wants to hear from people who live in those areas. Although they may not agree on what should be done to get rid of the water, they do agree that something needs to be done.

Cyril Stoltman, a retired Devils Lake farmer, told the board about his flood fight this summer. "This year, we had to go with a boat there to man the pumps and all that for two months, and that is not fun," Stoltman said.

The Red River Basin Commission wants to hear stories and suggestions from people in the area. Tonight it heard from people in Devils Lake. Some said an outlet was the answer. Farmer Adam Roerick said it should be at Tolna Coulee.

"I feel it could be done simply by adding a 10 foot by 10 foot sectional culvert," said Adam Roerick, who farms near Tolna.

Red River Basin Committee Executive Director Lance Yohe says the commission listened to suggestions like Roerick's and will use them to prepare recommendations to Minnesota's and North Dakota's legislature.

Yohe said, "What we'll hope to see in the North Dakota legislative session in the next round would be some of the things that we have listed on our report that need to be addressed."

It will make recommendations for funding and agency budgets based on what people say. Mark Olson told them that although the water in the basin isn't drying up.something else is.

Mark Olson, who lives in Devils Lake, told the board he's very concerned about the town's future. "We have a Main Street that's just drying up," Olson told the board. "There's nothing here to come for. People that are here are just hanging on."

The commission met in Lakota earlier Monday. It has upcoming meetings in Langdon, Valley City, and southern Manitoba.