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Roads to Nowhere: the Devils Lake Dilemma

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Published on Jul 25, 2011

For the past 18 years, Devils Lake in North Dakota has been on a rampage, consuming 170,000 acres of farmland from the region's farmers since 1993. According to NDSU, it has caused an annual economic loss of $195 million and stolen 1100 jobs. It has inundated at least two communities and imposed on countless homes and farms. To date, It has cost US taxpayers $1 billion.
Stakeholders struggle to maintain the infrastructure required to maintain population, commerce and lifestyles.
Northern Plains Electric Cooperative has been at the heart of that struggle. As the lake rises, so too does the miles of cooperative line that are impacted.
Thus far, Northern Plains has responded with a policy that ensures its members of service where possible. The problem is that Devils Lake is too often making it impossible to continue service. Like other entities, in order to provide service, Northern Plains requires roads that allow its crews access to member accounts. But much too often, the roads in the region lead to nowhere. To nowhere but a world of water. Of imposing, impossible, interminable water.

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