|Inundated and abandoned farm buildings.|
|Hard NOT to see the high water on road. Tough to see road!|
|Must find another way.|
So what's to be done? Well, they continue to raise the levees, and roads, and dams. The roads are full of large trucks -- thousands of them -- hauling levee-building materials around the clock. The State of North Dakota is trying to pump some water from the lake into the nearby Sheyenne River and thence the northward flowing Red River, sparking lawsuits from the State of Minnesota and the Government of Canada, neither of which want the saline and polluted water from the lake. And, I'm sure, there's a lot of praying taking place.
In the end, it will be dependent on the ebb and flow of nature, the climate, and the amount of precipitation that falls during the next few years. If the water keeps rising the City of Devils Lake will become a submerged island behind a series of levees and dams. Once the water rises another 7 or 8 feet from today's levels, it will find a natural outlet into the Sheyenne River and below, despite all political and scientific objections.
I find it interesting that the last two places we've stayed have been so impacted by high water. While we had all heard about the great Grand Forks flooding of 1997, I knew nothing about the Devils Lake problem until the last week or so. I hadn't expected that North Dakota, which I've always understood to be rather dry prairie, would have this situation to deal with. It's really quite an interesting story of the long-term power of nature and short-term vision of humans... of battling nature rather than living in harmony with it.
As always, see our Online Photo Gallery for additional photos of our explorations.
Looking for higher ground...