FEMA, NDDES survey damage

Louise Oleson, Editor
Duane Dekrey, NDDES project specialist was in the Devils Lake area yesterday, June 9 surveying several township sites that require emergency grade raises. This site is in Lakewood where residents are valiantly trying to keep the road through the community open.

If a road is underwater, or nearly, it needs a grade raise. It seems a simple concept, however, the issue is far from simple when nearly every road in a township or a county needs work.

Thursday afternoon, June 9, two whose departments specialize in making the decisions about what road gets fixed and how much were in the Devils Lake area taking a look at several spots around South Creel Township. They are Duane Dekrey and Jann Tracey.

Tracey works in External Affairs for FEMA out of the Joint Field Office in Bismarck. It is her job to keep the public informed of what is going on and the process that is followed. Normally she doesn’t go out and inspect sites, according to Kevin Fieldsend, Ramsey County Road superintendent.

Dekrey, project specialist with the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services out of Bismarck, works closely with FEMA and inspects the roads that are in most urgent need. He said this was his second year working in the Devils Lake area and so far he had inspected 18 spots in eight different townships.

Thursday afternoon it was South Creel Township’s turn and Township supervisor Jason Bednarz led a tour of the roads that serve a number of township residents, including the Acorn Ridge area and Lakewood.

According to Dekrey the next step is for the survey crew to come through and measure each spot to obtain more specific and detailed information.

Emergency grade raises can be done on roads that are vital links for residents, if it is the only way to get out, for example. However, an emergency grade raise is only to be one foot above the water level, it is meant to raise a road up out of the water, but not as a permanent fix.

According to Dekrey’s report, in Ramsey County the following have applied for work:

Township - No. of sites

Bartlett - 20

Cato - 14

Coulee - 19

Creel (N) - 85

DeGroot - 21

Dry Lake - 18

Fancher - 15

Freshwater - 13

Grand Harbor - 23

Hammer - 6

Harding - 10

Highland Center - 17

Klingstrup - 5

Lawton - 31

Lillehoff - 20

Minnewaukan - 45

Minnewaukan (S) - 9

Morris - 11

Newland - 13

Noonan - 2

Northfield - 8

Odessa (E) - 10

Odessa (W) - 6

Ontario - 46

Overland - 16

Pelican - 15

Poplar Grove - 27

Prospect - 8

Royal - 18

Stevens - 41

Sullivan - 14

Webster - 8

So far a total of 614 township sites have been surveyed. For Ramsey County an additional 40 sites have also been surveyed. The estimated costs are over $1,001,000.

There are also 50 large projects which are estimated to cost $3,500,000 for a total of $4,501,000 for all sites. That includes four emergency protective projects and 654 roads.

Of the county’s 33 townships only Chain Lakes, Creel (S), Hope, Newbre and Triumph townships were not included in Dekrey’s report. He did the Creel (S) Township yesterday, it was not included in his report.