There have been a lot of changes over in Rice Lake, and it’s because of those changes that make the town at much less of a risk than in years past.
(Paul Pitner/Rice Lake Board Member) “A year ago at this time, if we would have had this amount of snow we would have been looking at infrastructure, our sewer, our roads would have been at risk of being inundated by water.”
(Becky Farr/KX News) Last year, Rice Lake received a two million dollar grant to clean up the town, help with properties and get flood risks and safety hazards out of the water.
Thanks to that construction project, all sewer infrastructure is two feet above the outlet stage, which Pitner says leaves the area at no risk due to snow.
(Pitner) “As a district, as a recreation district, which is what we are, we don’t have concerns for our infrastructure at this point. Which is a big step forward from where we were last year.”
While the lake has been at risk ever since the 2011 flood, it was actually at it’s lowest point since then, just this past fall.
If residents are concerned about their property, Pitner says to contact a surveyor or engineer to mark where the natural outlet is.
(Pitner) “Residents should know and the community should know that they’re sitting in a pretty good spot right now. But individual property owners, a lot of people know where they sit as far as where that water level is and where that drainage is that if their properties are at risk, they just need to do what they need to on a personal level to secure their property and protect themselves.”
After the big flood, many homes were torn down.
But as of late, there are about 154 families still at Rice Lake.
Pitner says he and the rest of the board want to continue to revamp the lake and make it a destination for all of Ward County