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Dry Conditions Helping Some Waubay Flooding

July 9, 2012, 10:00 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Dry Conditions Helping Some Waubay Flooding
WAUBAY, SD -

With so much flooding in recent years, you might think there are people who could stand to benefit from the dry weather we've seen.

Some Waubay homeowners have seen water that once threatened their homes back off. But the improvement isn't all that much.

The high water mark on homes along Blue Dog Lake shows the lake has dropped more than two feet since last year. That said, it's still four feet above normal.

"The good Lord's got a plan.  He just hasn't told us yet," Neil Haase said.

Neil and Susan Haase are happy to see the water down but would like to see it drop more. They've had to fill in and build up around their property three times just to keep it up.

"Well the main thing is to keep up our hope," Neil Haase said.

And they still have some at this point. Their house sits high enough so water hasn't gotten in. But that isn't true of all places along Blue Dog Lake. Bitter Lake south of town doesn't have an outlet so it's still on the rise.

More than 50 people along the water have either been accepted in or applied to a FEMA program where the government buys out their property.

"It brings tears to your eyes to see Tammy's house next door. And she worked so hard to get it and now it's gone," Susan Haase said. "It's just sad to see it. And you look all the way down the water and most of these houses are going to be vacated and it's just sad."

The receding water on Blue Dog has taken stress off some. It used to press against sand bags surrounding sewer lift stations but now the water sits feet away.

Even if levels continue to drop on Blue Dog, it's too late for many as the damage is done. But the Haases plan to continue to fight the water.

"So far we've been able to do that. And if we can we'll stay right here until the bitter end," Neil Haase said.

The sewer lift station in the southern part of town is sitting in Bitter Lake. The city has done all it can to build up around it. So the mayor says when the water takes it over one day, sewer services in that part of town will be gone.

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