Homes threatened by rising water at Rice LakeRICE LAKE, N.D. (AP) — Water has been rising at Rice Lake, a popular getaway a few miles southwest of Minot, leaving residents worried about how their lakeside homes will make it through the summer.
By: Associated Press, The Jamestown Sun
RICE LAKE, N.D. (AP) — Water has been rising at Rice Lake, a popular getaway a few miles southwest of Minot, leaving residents worried about how their lakeside homes will make it through the summer.
Several cabins have already flooded, some residents have been forced to move their homes and others have abandoned homes to the rising water, the Minot Daily News reported Saturday.
Rice Lake sits above the Douglas Aquifer. The water level began rising more than a year ago after three consecutive winters of heavy snows.
With no natural outlet to disperse heavy rainfall, the lake rose 8 inches in an eight-day period earlier this month, and it’s currently rising about three-quarters of an inch a day, resident Bob Hargrave said.
“The road on the north side is starting to get wet again,” Hargrave said. “Nobody has an answer. I would say with another foot or so we’d lose another five to 10 cabins.”
The road on the south side of Rice Lake, where several lake homes remain surrounded or threatened by high water, was raised in an effort to maintain access to a low section of lakefront. Dikes have been built and water is being pumped, but it may be a losing effort.
“Some have pretty much given up the fight. We’re starting to see a little bit of that happening. I don’t blame them,” Hargrave said. “People who have been here since the ’50s say they’ve never seen anything like this.”
A recent break in a portion of the Rice Lake sewer system is believed to have been caused by too much pressure from underground water.
“The high water only complicates that system,” said Steven Eberle, project engineer for Ackerman-Estvold Engineering. “It is a continued expenditure to maintain the system. We don’t know what the elevation will come up to.”
Rice Lake residents began a pumping program last summer which resulted in lowering the lake level, but it appears to have provided just a few months respite from the continual rise.
“Pumping is done for the time being,” Hargrave said. “We ran out of storage space for the water, and money.”
A permanent solution being sought is a proposed $6 million pipeline leading south from Rice Lake into Douglas Creek. The State Water Commission is reviewing the proposal.