Hoeven: Federal Task Force Needs to Help Expedite Flood Relief for Devils Lake

BISMARCK, N.D. – At a meeting today in Bismarck, Sen. John Hoeven urged General Michael Walsh of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and representatives from the federal agencies responsible for flood prevention in the Devils Lake Basin to do all they can to help expedite flood relief for Devils Lake while managing flows to adequately protect downstream interests. 

The plan now under consideration includes four key parts:

  • Constructing an east end outlet on Devils Lake, which is scheduled for completion next June and will remove up to 350 cubic feet of water per second (cfs).
  • Expanding the lake’s existing west-end outlet by increasing capacity from 250 cfs to 350 cfs.
  • Building a water control structure at Tolna Coulee that will allow Stump Lake to naturally erode and release water without having a catastrophic flood that would send water uncontrolled down the Sheyenne River and cause extensive damage to downstream communities.
  • Constructing a gravity flow outlet consisting of a one-mile-long, 40-foot-wide channel connecting west Stump Lake to Tolna Coulee. This outlet would increase discharges as the lake’s elevation increases.

“Local, state and federal officials need to work cooperatively to help relieve flooding in the Devils Lake region,” Hoeven said. 

Devils Lake has risen 32 feet and nearly quadrupled in size since the early 1990s. Hoeven has worked to secure federal support from a variety of programs to help the region address this devastating flood, including:

  • Utilization of the Wetlands Recovery Program (WRP) to help landowners in the Devils Lake area who have lost valuable farm land due to flooding.
  • $5.8 million in FEMA Hazardous Mitigation Grant funds to help the City of Minnewaukan relocate.
  • $5.9 million in funds to complete 7.7 miles of emergency flood control measures to protect the Spirit Lake Nation from flooding this spring.
  • Leading efforts to secure funding for Water Bank Program, which would provide funding for inundated cropland.