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6/1/2005 – Editorials

By Richard Peterson

You might have wondered about the report of Devils Lake’s level that was in the Farmers Press last week. The level on May 22 was reported at 1448.81.
That was an increase of 43/100 of a foot, or more than five inches from May 15. I couldn’t believe it when I saw that figure on the Internet. But there was no denying what was being reported.
I thought there must have been a terrific rain up north or something and thought it strange that I hadn’t heard about it. So I duly reported to you what the gauge at Creel Bay registered.
When I had my morning coffee at the store I mentioned this to the regulars there. They couldn’t believe it either.
Then Roger Huffman said it must have something to do with the wind.
Bingo! The strong wind pushed water east to the measuring device at Creel Bay and we experienced "run-up," a term I heard George Howard mention many times. I had completely forgotten about it. If we get a strong wind from the east we can have run-up on the western shore of a couple feet.
When I checked the Internet for the May 29 level, the Web site reported the level on May 22 at 1448.37. That was apparently the level after allowing for run-up. If you want to check for yourself, the Web site is http://waterdata.usg period=31&site_no=05056500. Another site which gives the 24-hour level of the lake is
period=31&site_no=05056500. I don’t see a level of 1448.81 on that site for May 22, but I guarantee that the first site reported that level because I checked it at least three times. I couldn’t believe it.
People continue to ask me what’s going to happen with the lake. My answer is "I don’t know."
Nobody knows. However, I do know this. Devils Lake cannot rise much above its present level because the excess water is flowing into Stump Lake. On June 1, 2003 Stump Lake was at an elevation of 1414.22. On June 1, 2004 Stump Lake stood at 1418.74, a rise of 4.5 feet in a year. On May 28, 2005 Stump Lake stood at 1428.37, a rise of almost 10 feet from a year ago.
We’re OK until Stump Lake fills up at about a level of about 1448. We’ve got about 20 feet of breathing space — maybe two years if the wet cycle continues. Then we’ll be in big, big trouble.
The outlet is scheduled to operate next month. Because of water quality restrictions the outlet will be totally ineffective. It isn’t going to help at all if it ever carries any water. Mother Nature, not man, is in charge.
These aphorisms come from the Internet:
Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.
When you don’t know what you are doing, do it neatly.
I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.
It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.
To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.
Artificial intelligence usually beats real stupidity.
Laughing stock: cattle with a sense of humor.
Honk if you love peace and quiet.
Smith & Wesson: The original point and click interface.
If you get to it and you can’t do it, well there you jolly well are, aren’t you?
Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!
I took an IQ test and the results were negative.
If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you.
A new teacher was trying to make use of her psychology courses. She started her class by saying, "Everyone who thinks they’re stupid, stand up!" After a few seconds, Little Johnny stood up. The teacher said, "Do you think you’re stupid, Little Johnny?"
"No, ma’am, but I hate to see you standing there all by yourself!"
Little Johnny’s kindergarten class was on a field trip to the local police station where they saw pictures tacked to a bulletin board of the 10 most wanted criminals. One of the youngsters pointed to a picture and asked if it really was the photo of a wanted person.
"Yes," said the policeman. "The detectives want very badly to capture him."
Little Johnny asked, "Why didn’t you keep him when you took his picture?"
Little Johnny attended a horse auction with his father. He watched as his father moved from horse to horse, running his hands up and down the horse’s legs, rump, and chest. After a few minutes, Johnny asked, "Dad, why are you doing that?" His father replied, "Because when I’m buying horses, I have to make sure that they are healthy and in good shape before I buy." Johnny, looking worried, said, "Dad, I think the UPS guy wants to buy Mom."

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