Letters to the editor: Devils Lake’s safety puts other cities in dangerIn a recent letter in North Dakota newspapers Rick LaFleur claimed that “The future of the city of Devils Lake is bright because it is now the only fully flood-protected city that will not have a flood fight each spring other than Dickinson or Williston.” (Sept. 2)
By: Richard Betting, Valley City, N.D., The Jamestown Sun
In a recent letter in North Dakota newspapers Rick LaFleur claimed that “The future of the city of Devils Lake is bright because it is now the only fully flood-protected city that will not have a flood fight each spring other than Dickinson or Williston.” (Sept. 2)
Folks in Valley City, Fort Ransom, Lisbon and Kindred, on the other hand, can expect to be sandbagging every spring, sometimes all summer. What LaFleur fails to mention is that what Devils Lake gains in flood protection comes at the expense of those downstream along the Sheyenne River.
In the Prairie Public TV video about the Devils Lake situation, State Engineer Todd Sando even admitted that whatever Devils Lake gains comes at a cost to others. All of the land that LaFleur claims as being brought “back to the farms” comes with the price of land lost downstream along the river being flooded or eroded or trees lost and ground water contaminated.
And if they have their way, much more water will be added to what is already in the pipelines dumping into the Sheyenne. If the Tolna Coulee erodes or is ditched, Stump Lake water will add another 3,000 cubic feet per second or more to the river, at all times, not just in the spring, because the plan calls for leaving the Tolna Coulee Control Structure open once it is breached.
That means an uncontrolled flow from Stump Lake. That means that all of the water that flows into Devils Lake will dump into the gravity flow channel with no control.
Is that what LaFleur means when he says, “The management of Devils Lake shows promise for those downstream”?
The only “promise” in this situation is the impending continuous flooding potential for everyone living along the river, at levels 3,000 cfs or more higher than ever before.
Devils Lake’s future is “bright” only because it comes at a high cost to those on whom Devils Lake’s waste water is being flushed.
Valley City, N.D.