Water Levels Rise Near Rice Lake - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Water Levels Rise Near Rice Lake

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Residents at Rice Lake have been dealing with the rising water levels for the past few years. But, this isn't a short term battle because the fight continues.          

Moving water is a sound that residents at Rice Lake hear day in and day out. That sound has become more troubling as the water moves closer to their homes.

"People are losing their basements.  They're losing their homes. They're picking them up if they can. Lots of us can't move our home though. I mean, they're a permanent structure. They were built differently. We're just at the mercy of water," says Ronald Hanson.

"It just keeps growing and growing and growing," says Pam Hougen.

Water levels have been rising for the past three years and residents at Rice Lake are doing everything they can to fight the waters. They're building dikes just to protect their homes. But, everyday they're losing more and more of their property.

"It's hard to watch. Everyday you drive on that road and there are five or six homes under water," says Hougen.

Two years ago, Pam Hougen and her husband sold their house in Minot and moved to Rice Lake in hopes of settling down.

"Little did we know it was going to be a problem," says Hougen.

Some residents are creating dikes around their property to keep the water out.    

"That solves a personal problem, keeping the water away from you. But, it then raises the issue of the lake has no place to spread out so it has to go up. So, it's a catch 22. Individually, personally, you have to do what you have to do to save your home," says Hanson.

But for others, the water was too quick and they were forced to leave their homes.

Many people had called it a wash and just walk away; leaving their homes along with everything else.

"Our one neighbor has lost her home to the water. She's been fighting for three years. She's been pumping water for three years and about a month ago, she lost her house," says Hougen.

For those who decided to stay, like the Hougen's they're staying optimistic. But, the flooding has been a struggle.

"We don't really have many other options. We going to have to stay here and figure it out. I think we've got it figured out. We'll have to put some more dirt and maybe a retaining wall in front of our place, if it gets any worse," says Hougen.

For now, they're just hoping Mother Nature doesn't act up.

In the past 3 years, twenty homes have been taken by the waters and if the water continues to rise another two feet, another twenty could be lost.

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