Burlington Mayor Concerned About Flooding - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Burlington Mayor Concerned About Flooding

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The Corps of Engineers has decided to raise the release rate at Lake Darling Dam again.

Flows through the dam were increased to 600 cubic feet per second today.

Officials say the higher flows will greatly diminish ice quality along the Mouse River.

The releases are being done to make more space in reservoirs for the impending spring snow melt that is expected to be above normal this year.

The forecast for an increased chance of flooding along the Mouse and Des Lacs Rivers has put Burlington officials on high alert.

Burlington Mayor Jerome Gruenberg says city engineers and others will be keeping close tabs on the

spring melt on the two rivers that meet on the edge of his town.

Gruenberg says the two rivers are vastly different in how they deliver water to Burlington.

The Mouse River drops about one foot per mile of travel, while the Des Lacs falls three feet per mile.

And while there are dams along the Mouse to control it's flow, there is no control over how the snow melting off the hills of the Des Lacs Valley will rush into town.

(Jerome Gruenberg, Burlington Mayor) "When that Des Lacs comes down, that river is probably the most violent in North Dakota. It comes hard and it comes fast. And historically it's pushed the Souris out of it's banks so it needs to be watched."

Gruenberg says the city's purchase and removal of a dozen-or-so homes near the river will make it easier to build protection against flooding, if it comes to that this year. Meanwhile, he says he will continue to press for some sort of control structures on the Des Lacs River to protect Burlington and diminish the impact the Des Lacs has on the Mouse River in high water years.

(Jerome Gruenberg, Burlington Mayor) "I've asked the Corps on a number of occasions to at least get a water study done to see what can be done to control the Des Lacs. And every year when there's high water the Corps says yeah yeah yeah we'll do that but as soon as the water's gone so is the Corps. And I'm probably going to get in trouble for saying that but it's true."

The mayor says he's confident the town can withstand this year's spring melt, as long as the spring doesn't bring big rainfall the way it did in 2011 when May and June rains pushed the rivers to record levels.

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