Rice Lake Water Still Rising - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Rice Lake Water Still Rising

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Rice Lake has risen another two feet in the last year...and now only has three more feet to go before water would flow out of it naturally.

If it gets to that point, more than 100 homes would be lost due to high water.

Those staggering figures were discussed this morning at the meeting of the Ward County Commissioners.

If the lake continues its climb upwards and gets to that level, 110 homes would be underwater -- with just 58 remaining dry.

Pumping is set to start soon again this year...but even that hasn't been able to keep the rise from continuing.

A plan for pumping water all the way to Lake Sakakawea is still being worked on...but officials fear that this latest rise may be a sign of worse things to come.

(Jarid Lundeen - Rice Lake Board Member) "And I think that is really the direction that this lake is going right now. 18 months ago when I got on the board there was a lot of talk about the potential but not really the fear of but after this last year seeing two feet in a dry year...it is getting bigger. That is much more water by volume."

The Commission today discussed working on a plan where land that was inundated with water would still remain the property of the landowner...but without taxes being assessed until the water receded.

Devils Lake area officials have established a similar plan.

The commission will study the issue and take it up at a future meeting.

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