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Blue Dog Lake Flooding Heading Into Winter

September 15, 2011, 10:30 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Blue Dog Lake Flooding Heading Into Winter
WAUBAY, SD - With winter around the corner some home owners along Blue Dog Lake in Waubay will enter the season flooded.

The area dealt with severe flooding this spring and the lake was lower going into winter last year than it is now.

But all city leaders can do right now is prepare for another round of fighting floods. They are checking infrastructure, making sure it's up to par before it faces another winter and spring thaw.

"It's just one of those problems that keep going on," Ken Olsen said.

Olsen has a place along Blue Dog Lake and had every intention of making it his permanent home.

"But I'm putting that on hold at this point just to make sure everything survives," Olsen said.

Flooding was so bad this year and still is in spots, that he doesn't have a neighbor left to the east of him. Some to the west have moved out as well.

Olsen is hoping next year isn't any worse than this one. But with the lake as high as it is now, he's not sure what to expect.

The city has sent out letters to property owners along the lake, asking them to plug their sewers now. That'll prevent floodwater from pouring into the system and overtaking it if flooding hits again this spring.

It’s also checking its sewer system for leaks and looking at roads that'll have to be built up.

Olsen has considered building up a levee in front of his place to protect it from ice crashing into the cabin this spring. But he's decided to hold off for now.

"I'm going to ride it out, see what happens," Olsen said.

With lake levels where they are, it's not promising but a flood fight is nothing new for homeowners along Blue Dog.

"I just hope the lake goes down and the ice doesn't come in this year. And I'd like to have all my neighbors back," Olsen said.

The city has already been hit hard financially because of all the money it takes to fight flooding. And now there are more than 20 families that have been displaced and many of those have moved out of town so there'll be less tax money coming in.

City leaders in Waubay hope to get some of the community's flooding expenses reimbursed. They expect to get more information about that from the state tomorrow.

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