Velva's Levees Put To Test - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Velva's Levees Put To Test

Velva's Levees Put To Test

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Lower levels on the Mouse River can be expected soon --- after a change at Lake Darling late Friday.

Station Refuge Manager Tom Pabian says releases from Lake Darling have been backed off to 285 cubic feet per second.

In flows out of Canada at the Sherwood gauge are just under 2000 cfs.

With river levels backing off, people in Velva are assessing the performance of their repaired levee system.

Those levees barely held back the Mouse River in 2011 and 2013 is testing the repairs made after that record flood year.

Velva was a success story in 2011.

Evacuated homeowners were able to return to dry homes.

But it was far from an easy success.

(Mayor Scott Blotter, City of Velva) "So we were guessing we were around 27,500 cfs [in 2011] and we were, that was close. We were at the limit of what we could handle."

Not close to the limit.

AT the limit.

The Mouse River was at 1514.5 in 2011.

One half foot away from the levees' ability.

So far, 2013 is the seventh highest the Mouse River has been in Velva.

And it's the first time the now-repaired levees have been put to the test.

(Mayor Scott Blotter, City of Velva) "We got all the repairs done. We're fairly confident. The internal water on Saturday was a little much but we got through that. The forecast doesn't look terribly bad. I think we're pretty confident that the city is going to be fine. We're a little worried about some of our neighbors but we're in good shape."

Levees in the city of Velva are 20 feet high in some places.

(Mayor Scott Blotter, City of Velva) "The bridge is our bottle neck so we've got to have a little additional height on the west side."

(Mayor Scott Blotter, City of Velva) "We can handle about 1515. We're predicted to go to 1507 so we've got plenty of room. Our lagoon is a little bit less and we had some erosion that went on there. We're waiting for repairs. So right now I'd say our main concern is out there. Other than that, we're not seeing any major problems."

The snow run off caused problems for Velva last weekend.

Pumps ran from the storm sewer storage system for several days into the week --- but the city is starting to get caught up now.

(Mayor Scott Blotter, City of Velva) "The storm sewer system handles that and when the water's up in the river, we try to store what we can store and we have to pump what we can't. It was a quick melt but we're alright."

(Mayor Scott Blotter, City of Velva) "I think this year the Corps' involvement has been a little more than it was in past which is nice to see. I know people are nervous, but barring anything major, I don't see any issues."

In Velva, Jennifer Thorgramson, KX News.

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