WDAY.com

WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published April 19, 2011, 10:24 PM

Sen. Conrad in Devils Lake as Flood Costs Near $1 Billion

Conrad came to Devils Lake with good news. But Lake Region residents told him many problems still need to be addressed.

Senator Kent Conrad says he's asking that counties in the Lake Region be added to a federal disaster declaration because parts of the Devils Lake Basin are in tough shape due to flooding.

Conrad came to Devils Lake with good news. But Lake Region residents told him many problems still need to be addressed.

"Anybody who doesn't think flooding is imminent here, better come pay a visit. It's about as clear as it can be," Conrad said.

Conrad talked of money that has been awarded to the city of Minnewaukan and programs that could help farmers whose land is inundated by the waters of Devils Lake.

"Both for those who have more than six and a half feet of water on their land and those that have less. We've come up with a new strategy for the next farm bill," Conrad said.

More than $900 million has been spent in the Devils Lake Basin and Conrad says that number is only going to climb if nothing is done to stop the rising waters.

"Clearly with what's been approved now, we'll be well over a billion dollars with is a staggering amount of money," Conrad said.

Local leaders hope to have protection up to 1463 feet by the end of this construction season. But everyone at Tuesday's meeting agrees that water needs to come off the lake.

"Bottom line is, to solve this problem, we need to get water off and I think everybody is in agreement with that and the sooner we get it off, the more we get off, the better off we'll be as a community. We're all in this together and we need to fight through it together," Devils Lake mayor Dick Johnson said.

Tags: