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Published November 10, 2009, 04:41 PM

Valley City Officials Visit Devils Lake

Water flows into Devils Lake from 9 counties and 3800 square miles of land. It causes problems not only for surrounding communities, but for people downstream.

By: Renee Chmiel, WDAZ

Water flows into Devils Lake from 9 counties and 38-hundred square miles of land. It causes problems not only for surrounding communities, but for people downstream. Today Valley City leaders came Devils Lake to meet with leaders there to talk about finding solutions to the problem.

Devils Lake has risen more than three feet in the last year, and that is a major concern for people in the area. Since it could rise another three feet in the next year, city leaders are working with Valley City leaders on finding a solution.

Tim Heisler: "We have time now to maybe plan a head a little bit and control something on the east end."

Mary Lee Nielson: "To us, ultimately the east end, we would hope that would not be the answer to the problem."

Valley City officials have had concerns with this and Devils Lake removing sediment from the Tolna Coulee. If the lake reaches an elevation of 1459 and flowed into the Sheyenne River, it would be a problem for them. Valley City officials have been concerned about water quality, since Valley City gets its drinking water from the Sheyenne River.

Mary Lee Nielson: "If it spills over into the Tolna Coulee then we're worried about quantity of water too, so we've got to try to balance these issues."

Devils Lake city leaders explained their situation and why some steps, like cleaning out Tolna Coulee, were necessary.

Mike Grafsgaard: "We were looking at saving I think the estimate was 10 to 20 million dollars simply by removing this one foot of sediment."

Leaders from both cities agreed that they would work together on the problem and that this was a continuing discussion. Valley City Mayor Mary Lee Nielson invited Devils Lake city leaders to go there to continue it.

So far nearly one billion dollars has been spent on the flood fight in the Devils Lake area, and about 200 million will be spent next year alone.

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