Flood Task Force Created to Counter Lake Flooding Issues

By KBJR News 1

January 4, 2013 Updated Jan 4, 2013 at 10:44 PM CST

Grand Rapids, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Northland Lake Association officials say they may not be able to control Mother Nature, but they are able to control the way they react to whatever she throws their way– particularly flooding.

Officials from the Greater Pokegama Lake Association have paired with other area lake associations, city and county officials and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to form the Upper Mississippi Flood Mitigation Task Force, which will come up with ways to better handle the flooding at area lakes.

Lake Association members say flooding on Pokegama and other lakes is not a new issue.

Last June, Big Sandy Lake in nearby Aitkin County saw record flooding, which surrounded homes with water. The flooding on Pokegama wasn't as severe, but an extra three feet of water mixed with high waves from a July windstorm cause major damage.

"There were trees that were taken down, there were shorelines that were ripped, [they] had been there for fifty years that were just completely decimated," said Greater Pokegama Lake Association President Randy McCarty of the damage.

"[It was] the straw that broke the camel's back in terms of, as a group we need to be doing something," said Task Force Chair, Rick Glorvigen of the need to create a group to tackle the flooding issue.

The Task Force's goal is to bring all the groups together to discuss ways in which the flooding can be dealt with, everything from infrastructure to environmental concerns.

"[It's] an entire review of how we use the river," said Glorvigen.

"The [U.S. ] Army Corp is now listening to us and saying, 'You're right we do need to talk about these situations,'" said McCarty.

The Task Force's first meeting was November, 30th. They will meet again in mid–January.

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.