Dickinson Co. Emergency Management Commission Adopts Lake Level Management Plan

Wed 6-6-2018

(Orleans)-- The Dickinson County Emergency Management Commission has adopted a lake level management plan for the Iowa Great Lakes. Commission Chairman Bill Maas tells KUOO news the plan is based on scientific data and was adopted following a lot of consultation with various elected officials and the various protective associations...Lake Level Management01 

"The last time the water went up we had some very emotional meetings. People were worried about their houses, their property, stuff like that, then we had another faction that was more interested in well, that's going to hurt tourism and stuff. You know, we understand both sides but we thought it's easier to go ahead and make some decisions based on facts and what we've learned since then, and to be able to be proactive and set up some guidelines that could be followed and put into place and would not really be an emotional reaction but would be based more on fact."

Maas says the regulations will be triggered once water levels exceed two feet over crest level...Lake Level Management02 

"What happens is when it gets up over two feet over crest level things start happening that we don't like to see. We don't like to see our banks sliding into the water that are going to pollute the water, and, you know, so it starts out right about 24 to 26 inches above crest level, I don't remember the exact figure because it's been awhile since we put this all together and we finally did pass it recently. But once it gets up to 30 inches then some more stringent measures go in. The only measures we're talking about are reducing the speed limits closer to shore so that wave action caused from boats don't cause as many problems as they ordinarily would not cause, you know, so. But it's all based on the levels of the water and a bunch of other people all putting their heads together. I really thank all those people for doing that."

Maas says that while the Iowa Department of Natural Resources has the authority to adjust water flows, that it's up to emergency management and the individual counties to change speed limits.

A copy of the plan is available by clicking here.