Rural Flood Protection Options - - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Rural Flood Protection Options

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People living in rural areas along the Mouse River in North Dakota now have a flood protection plan to consider.

The engineering team designing flood protection has released a report focusing on areas upstream of Burlington and downstream of Minot.

Jim Olson reports on the latest part of the overall Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Plan.

Residents of Burlington and Minot learned about the flood protection plan for their areas last year. Now, rural residents have a plan to consider.

(Ryan Ackerman, Ackerman-Estvold Engineering) "Another milestone. Another piece of the overall flood risk reduction puzzle for the Mouse River basin."

Ryan Ackerman of Ackerman-Estvold Engineering says this milestone doesn't come with a simple answer for protecting rural lands and buildings from the Mouse.

(Ryan Ackerman, Ackerman-Estvold Engineering) "What we did find is there is not a silver bullet for the rural pieces of the valley. Each one of these alternatives has some merit in specific areas but there isn't a one size fits all alternative that's going to solve all the problems in the rural reaches."

Nevertheless, the report lists 12 alternatives that would reduce impacts on rural areas - from low cost moves such as releasing water from Lake Darling earlier in the season and keeping the level of Lake Darling lower year-round, to expensive fixes such as building a canal from Sherwood, where the Mouse enters the US, to Westhope, where it goes back into Canada. Ackerman says something as simple as ring dikes for threatened areas are not the answer everywhere.

(Ryan Ackerman, Ackerman-Estvold Engineering) "Ring dikes for instance are not going to be applicable in every situation throughout the valley so it's going to be a case by case thing kind of utilizing some of these alternatives as a basis for future decision making is what the intent of this was."

He says the report has been delivered to the Joint Water Resource Board, the multi-county group that requested the flood control plan, and now it's up to the people impacted by the river to have their say.

(Ryan Ackerman, Ackerman-Estvold Engineering) "Present the information to folks in the rural reaches and get their feedback and based on that feedback the Joint Board will decide where to go from there."

One thing he knows is that there won't be one, simple answer that everyone will agree on.

(Ryan Ackerman, Ackerman-Estvold Engineering) "There isn't one alternative that says oh boy, this is the one. It didn't fall out that way, unfortunately."

Jim Olson, KX News.

You can learn details of the plan and make comments about it at a public meeting on Thursday, June 27th in Velva.

The meeting is open to everyone.

It begins at 7:30pm on the 27th at Verendrye Electric in Velva.

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