Devils Lake swallows structures and everything else in its path as it continues to slowly expand, having already absorbed “thousands of acres, hundreds of buildings and at least two towns” over the last 20 years.
Devils Lake continues to get larger because it has no natural body of water to carry away excess water collected from rain and snow melt, according to a Yahoo! report. However, it has now reached high enough to create fears of flooding as it has come within six feet of overflowing.
And there’s more danger lurking, according to scientists. Studies have apparently indicated the current pattern of heavy rain and snow is slated to continue for at least another decade, prompting one resident to refer to Devils Lake as “slow-moving torture.”
Devils Lake is forcing many people from the area, and they’re bringing their houses with them. According to the Yahoo! report, more than 400 homes around the lake have been relocated since the 1990s when the water began to rise.
And it’s difficult for those involved to imagine a simple, long-term solution.
“The issue of stopping the flooding and trying to get water out of that lake is complicated,” said Sen. Byron Dorgan, a North Dakota Democrat. “If it weren’t complicated, it would have been solved long ago.”
This is a bizarre tale of Mother Nature’s power, and one has to hope a solution materializes before a major disaster occurs. Obviously nothing along the lines of the flooding during Hurricane Katrina is likely, but it’s difficult not to at least entertain thoughts of some sort of eruption on a grand scale. It sounds like it wouldn’t take much to create major devastation.
It also sounds like people are focused on preventing that very occurrence, and one has to assume science will help create a way to avoid a major catastrophe. But, in the meantime, it’s easy to sympathize with those fleeing the area or preparing for the worst.
One thing’s for sure: Devils Lake is an aptly named body of water.