August 21, 2010 at 7:00 pm in INFORUM
Coulee stands between Devils Lake and disaster
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. Mike Grafsgaard pointed to a slender marsh sprouting cattails near a stand of dead trees jutting from Stump Lake.
Tags: Devils Lake, Sheyenne River, tolna coulee, water quality 23 Comments »
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At least now people are looking at sensible solutions. I’ve always advocated reinforcing or “armoring” the Toulna Coulee. The fact that the city of Devils Lake owns it and is trying to use the coulee to blackmail the cites downstream is a moot point. The government needs to use eminent domain and take it. Then reinforce the coulee back to 1859 feet. The city has already removed 1 foot of the coulee to try and make it more miserable for the downstream cites. We will not be blackmailed.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 15 43
just let it over flow. maybe all the city government will realize that they screwed everyone waiting this long before doing something. Guess what red river valley – it would end up in the red river – hope you have flood protection in place. This has been a time bomb ticking and the government keeps arguing about stupid thing like pollution – you know what who cares – if it saves hundreds of homes and kills a few hundred fish I don’t think too many people will be heart broken. When wild life has more importance than the livelihood of humans than the DNR, and other agencies have lost focus and have too much power.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 41 16
One gets the impression you know the mayor of Valley City real well.
Like or Dislike: 11 12
This whole thing has been stupid. Spending tens if not hundred of millions of dollars raising roads, building dikes, rip rapping, and building a west outlet. Not saying tens of thousands of acres of farm land and roads under water also a town underwater. If this was in the Red River valley something would have been done to get rid of the water long ago! Cut a drain in the east side and let it go controlled. If not it is going to go uncontrolled and we will have the biggest disaster and loss of human and animal life that ever hit our Great State of ND.
Spending all this money on roads up there and the rest of our roads in ND need repair. Get with the program and do something. All of these studies all the time is just wasting time and wasting BIG money!!!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 40 9
After looking the map I see only one true solution. Devils Lake has to move. (The whole City). Sooner or later the downstream Cities and the red river will be afected. theres no getting out of it onless nature and the weather patterns change.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 30 12
I think this solution could be applied to Fargo as well but would be recieved as heresy to the popular thinking of the lemmings rushing to the option of a diversion channel.
Like or Dislike: 6 12
Rambo you are the biggest idiot I have seen ….intelligence none..why dont you just have yourself a nice tea party with Sara Palin!
Like or Dislike: 2 8
You haven’t seen me. If you had you wouldn’t say that.
Like or Dislike: 2 3
D Unrau, you sure dazzled me with your intelligence with that reply.
Like or Dislike: 1 2
I don’t understand why people keep trying to fight water. The water is bigger than you, it will always win.
We know what is going to happen, so prepare for it to prevent disaster, and let it happen. Humans need to adapt to nature, because nature will never yield to our simple human will.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 40 8
I’m not convinced there’s anything we really CAN do about Devils Lake. This may be one situation where the Earth and it’s power is simply greater than what we, as human, can do to control it. Sure we could build up barriers, but that’s a lot of water and a lot of force. I have some engineering experience, and I know that when you have that much water wanting to go somewhere, it is almost impossible to stop it.
On the bright side, we won’t have to build the roads up any higher once it starts flowing over. Of course, if it every recedes, future generations will wonder why the roads were built 30 feet higher than the lake, but that’s a problem for another era.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 30 4
Nothing has ever been done concerning Devils Lake but a lot of tongue wagging.
Like or Dislike: 8 6
With all of the whining and simpering going on in the Fargo area regarding the diversion I don’t know how Brokenbackjack can make the claim he does. At best, and this is at the very best any diversion in Fargo is at least 10 years away. Another record flood could (and probably will) come before it is built and wipe out the town. Perhaps Devils Lake will have reached maximum density and roll Southward was well. The water wants to reclaim its cruising grounds. Too bad the most populous and progressive city in ND sits right alongside the Red River.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 8 20
The valley doesn’t have tens of thousands of acres of farm land under water daily nor is the city threatened daily with flooding like Devils Lake. That is the point I am trying to make. If Fargo were like Devils Lake something would have been done long ago.
Like or Dislike: 16 5
Well now ain’t that just ironic! Many communities downstream who didn’t care to even read the end of most articles on this topic over the past ten years are now paying attention! Funny how that works? If that puppy overflows at just the right time I’ll bet a whole lot of communities, including our region, will give it 100% of their attention. A regulated and controlled outlet is likely the best way to invest in proactively confronting this issue. Still a small scale version is all that is in place today and support has been minimal at best so far. Wait until it’s knocking at your door and it will assuredly be too late.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 19 2
It’s too late for a regulated and controlled outlet. The lake has to rise only 6 ft to spill naturally. An outlet would have to be build now to stop the lake from raising any more. It would also have to be able to gradually lower the lake to allow for heavy rains and snowmelt. The way I see it there is no longer a choice.
Like or Dislike: 3 5
Bill, the current outlet can drop the height of the lake by approximately 4 to 6 inches per year. A larger system designed right could do well over twice that looking at capabilities of the river to handle the flow. Couple that with we do not know how many years it might take to overflow but it likely won’t be for a few or more at minimum. I agree a controlled outlet might not be the fix all, no one can guarantee anything will be, but I do believe it provides one of the more definite and specific ways to manage it and reduce the risk level greatly. Bonus is it would cost far less than many other approaches as well. So not a miracle but a valuable tool. If it overflows you’ll get it all at once instead of managing it more slowly and far sooner so less reaction time available.
Like or Dislike: 4 1
It’s still the best option, no use just accepting apocalypse. The use of the Sheyenne at maximum rates might be enough, if not, a second east outlet to say the Goose is technically possible. The two would have a very high chance of being sufficient to prevent further catastrophe.
Like or Dislike: 1 1
If the lake starts to flow into the river what type of impact will this have on West Fargo?
At this point almost nothing, thinner ice an bigger flows in the winter. Assuming of course we are talking a controlled outlet.
If not, peak flow is about half of the record Fargo Flood. Don’t know if West Fargo can handle that or not.
West Fargo’s concern is they are planning on drinking from the Sheyenne in the future with continued city growth, so they are lined up asking for money to build a treatment plant.
I’m not sure that it really necessary because the sulfate levels if the lake was permitted to flow would actually start to drop quite soon. But if they grew to where they needed to use the Sheyenne, then some help would be reasonable.
Fargo wants it too because of the use of the Sheyenne for emergency water. Lake Traverse could provide that but would take a different management plan by the Corp, good luck they don’t like leaving boat docks dry for even a week or two in the spring.
Like or Dislike: 2 1
Why is flooding of such concern to Fargo and everyone should be mobilized in the spring while Devils Lake faces Fargo’s spring situation every day of the year.
Like or Dislike: 6 14
Since Devils Lake is now the proud new owner of Toulna Coulee, and has even seen fit to lower the elevation by 1 foot, they are now criminally and financially liable if this should wash out. I can see literally billions of dollars in lawsuits, plus criminal negligence charges. I’m serious.
Like or Dislike: 6 11
Those liable would be more the ones who have fought against and tried to stop any sort of solution from being applied. Sue the Citizens to Save the Sheyenne, if it wasn’t for them, we’d likely be speaking in the past tense of what a problem it was going to be. Tolna Coulee could have been cleaned out and the lake would have stabilized at about the level at which it flows into Stump Lake. Yes, it would have required some larger than comfortable flows in the Sheyenne, and some people might have needed some help, and some bank stabilization work would be needed and we could have helped the cities that needed to drink the water. And all of that could have been done for less than has been spent just since the lake reached the level of flowing into Stump Lake.
Everytime the wind blows highway 20 is closed. Spending a 100 million on the dike as I write, all because people ddn’t want to bend a bit.
The City of Devils Lake is in no way liable, they have tried and tried to get something done, but they have been stopped. Lowering the coulee a foot reduced the potential damage downstream, lowering it more would also do it. Best at this point is getting it to flow sooner rather than later, with a 1000 cfs control structure in a hardened coulee.
It should have been in place 10 years ago.
Like or Dislike: 4 2
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