January 20, 2016

Upcoming meeting hopes to highlight flood concerns

By Daniel Arens

After Beulah experienced major flooding in 2009, the Mercer County Water Board has been pushing for a survey to determine possible means of controlling floods along the Knife River, specifically north of Beulah to prevent the town from being flooded. After several years, a meeting is being planned to further discuss the issue of flood control with the United States Corps of Engineers.
Currently, a workshop seminar is scheduled for Feb. 10, with a meeting the morning of Feb. 11, both tentatively set to be held at the Beulah Civic Center. The workshop will provide information and strategies for dealing with major flooding concerns in towns, like that which Beulah faced, while the meeting will involve the various agencies discussing possible methods of preventing floods.
Water Board Secretary Greg Lange said that this may be the final chance the county board has to shape the direction that the Corps of Engineers decides to take. The meeting will allow the different entities to hash out possible solutions and maybe reach an agreement about what steps can be taken to limit flood damage.
One possibility that the water board said is likely to be addressed is the installation of a dam northwest of Beulah. The only previous action that was taken after the flood was the installation of a dam, but Lange indicated a second dam may be considered to address flooding to the northwest as well.
Flooding concerns in Beulah will be the focus of the meeting, and the water board intends to demonstrate the losses caused by the 2009 flood, maintaining that you need to show a strong cost-benefit ratio in order to convince the Corps to invest in flood control measures.
As a result of the Feb. 11 meeting, the water board will hold its regular meeting at the Beulah Civic Center at 1:30 p.m., following the conclusion of the meeting with the Corps.

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