Rice Lake Flood Battle - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Rice Lake Flood Battle

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It's a weekend of sandbagging and worrying for residents around Rice Lake.

The lake in southern Ward County has been rising in recent years - pushed by a rising water table and the fact that the lake has no natural outlet.

Residents have pooled funds that will continue to pay for pumping water from the lake.

But it cannot overcome the rise of the water level.

Already this year the level of Rice Lake has risen more than a foot, overtaking several more homes.

About three dozen homes have been damaged or destroyed by the rising water in the past few years.

This weekend, volunteers and residents are teaming up, trying to sandbag homes that are newly-threatened by the water.

Meanwhile, the effort to get rid of some water through pumping has resumed on the north side of the lake.

Steve Zaun of the Rice Lake Board told county commissioners last week that he knows the pumping is only a band-aid for the problem.

The group is working on a permanent pipeline to drain the lake to the south, toward Lake Sakakawea, but that is not likely to be operating for at least two years

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