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Published April 25, 2011, 04:52 PM

Some DL Homeowners Staying Put, Despite Flooded Roads

Spring melt means road are falling victim to the waters of Devils Lake. But even though roads are being lost, some are willing to stay and fight for what they have left.

As the level of Devils Lake continues to rise, so does the number of roads lost and and the number of people who have to be moved from their homes.

Spring melt means road are falling victim to the waters of Devils Lake. But even though roads are being lost, some are willing to stay and fight for what they have left.

Tammy Tollefson's home sits 20 feet above Devils Lake but she still has to fight for her livelihood.

The one road she takes to get to her farmstead is quickly becoming part of the ever-growing lake.

A recent bill passed unanimously through the North Dakota legislature provides a lower local match and funding for township roads that have been affected since Devils Lake began rising in 1993.

Tollefson says in the next 10 days there will be a dramatic rise in the water around rural areas of the Lake Region and she's just days away from having to find other means of transportation to her home.

"The hope is still there that if we get the funding, we can get the contractors in place to get those road raises done. But unfortunately we're going to be putting dirt in water," Tollefson said.

Townships would have liked to see a 100 percent match but right now they'll take what they can get as far as help goes.

Tollefson says the credit goes to local representatives. Their hard work got the bill through with an emergency clause making money available sooner, but not soon enough.

"It's all too late. We have to just carry on and we as rural residents have to stick together," Tollefson said.

Tollefson says she's constantly answering peoples question of "how long until the water goes down."

Her reply:

"It doesn't go down. Until the roads get raised, that's what we have to wait for and unfortunately it's exhausting because so many of us battled this all last year to get road raises late in the fall, to have to go through this all over again," Tollefson said.

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