Archived Story

Lake flood relief now in sight

Published 11:20am Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On Tuesday, the Otter Tail County Board approved a operation plan and draft that authorizes an outlet to be used to help control water levels on Little McDonald, Kerbs and Paul lakes near Dent.

The lakes have been struggling with rising water levels for years, and residents will finally see action taken.

“Often, the decisions we make are difficult and time consuming,” commissioner Doug Huebsch stated in a news release. “Flood control is a high priority for Otter Tail County, especially when the flooding is reoccurring and worsening. The Little McDonald, Paul and Kerbs Lakes Improvement District has performed the necessary engineering studies and answered the questions submitted as a result of the process.”

The outlet will include a valve to control the amount of water allowed to flow into the ditch system. Although it is not yet determined exactly how often the drain will be open, certain parameters and requirements are in place. The valve will be operated by the Otter Tail County public works division.

The project will be funded by the Little McDonald, Kerbs and Paul Lakes Improvement District and owners of other benefiting properties yet to be determined.

“I don’t think any of us can predict how bad future flooding could get, especially given the current climate cycle,” Huebsch stated. “Venting clean water from our lakes, during dry times, through controlled structures is prudent and logical. If we continue doing nothing and water continues to rise, we will have wider spread damage to Little McDonald, Kerbs and Paul Lakes Improvement District and the downstream lakes. Water will find the lakes downstream, but instead of clean water flowing through controlled structures, it will be over land, picking up everything in its path.”

It is still unknown when construction will begin on this project. A final written order will be brought to the board for approval next Tuesday.

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