Officials in Dickinson County have requested and received permission from the governor to have the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers make a cut in a county road that will help prevent flood damage at Spirit Lake. County spokesman Lonnie Saunders says they hope the cut in what’s called the Lower Gar Road will help them handle the water from snow melt and run off.
He says it is only a temporary measure that’s intended to alleviate the back pressure that’s built on the chain of lakes. The Corps would make the cut and the county would have to make the repair at a cost of 15 to $20,000. Saunders says it’s not a huge cost, but a significant cost, and one the county is willing to incur. He says the move could help prevent the type of flooding seen in 2003.
National Weather Service hydrologist, Mike Gillespie says the water level downstream is just below the seven foot flood level right now.
He says some lowlands along the Milford Creek would start flooding at the seven-and-a-half foot level and as it gets to eight feet there would be more significant flooding. Gillespie says at 10 feet there would be more flooding on the Lower Gar outlet.
The governor approved an emergency disaster declaration for the county to allow for the cut in the road. The governor’s office says the 1993 flooding caused $39-million in damage to homes, businesses and public utilities. The governor’s office says during 1993 similar action was taken to relieve pressure in the lake. However, in 1993, the request came too late to save homes from flood waters.
By Mark Bruggom, KICD, Spencer