US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District Website

Contact Public Affairs

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District
Public Affairs Office
180 5th St. E., Suite 700
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: (651) 290-5807
Fax: (651) 290-5752
cemvp-pa@usace.army.mil 

Division commander visits North Dakota projects

Published Aug. 27, 2015
Bonnie Greenleaf, Devils Lake flood risk management project manager, briefs Mississippi Valley Division commander Maj. Gen. Michael Wehr on features of the project during a tour of the area during his North Dakota visit July 6-8, 2015. The Devils Lake basin is a 3,810 square-mile sub-basin of the Red River of the North with no natural outlet until lake levels reach an elevation 1,458, at which it flows through Tolna Coulee into the Sheyenne River. Maj. Gen. Wehr received an orientation of the Devils Lake Basin prior to attending Devils Lake Executive Committee, or DLEC, meeting July 8, 2015. The DLEC, co-chaired by the commander of the Mississippi Valley Division and the governor of North Dakota,  is comprised of representatives from more than 20 Federal, State, tribal, local agencies and governmental entities.

Bonnie Greenleaf, Devils Lake flood risk management project manager, briefs Mississippi Valley Division commander Maj. Gen. Michael Wehr on features of the project during a tour of the area during his North Dakota visit July 6-8, 2015. The Devils Lake basin is a 3,810 square-mile sub-basin of the Red River of the North with no natural outlet until lake levels reach an elevation 1,458, at which it flows through Tolna Coulee into the Sheyenne River. Maj. Gen. Wehr received an orientation of the Devils Lake Basin prior to attending Devils Lake Executive Committee, or DLEC, meeting July 8, 2015. The DLEC, co-chaired by the commander of the Mississippi Valley Division and the governor of North Dakota, is comprised of representatives from more than 20 Federal, State, tribal, local agencies and governmental entities.

During Maj. Gen. Michael Wehr, Mississippi Valley Division commander, July 6-8, 2015, visit to North Dakota, Jon Kelsch, North Dakota State Water Commission, explains the operation of the Devils Lake West End Outlet structure, which can pump water out of Devils Lake at the  rate of 250 cubic feet per second. The Devils Lake basin is a 3,810 square-mile sub-basin of the Red River of the North with no natural outlet until lake levels reach an elevation 1,458, at which it flows through Tolna Coulee into the Sheyenne River.

During Maj. Gen. Michael Wehr, Mississippi Valley Division commander, July 6-8, 2015, visit to North Dakota, Jon Kelsch, North Dakota State Water Commission, explains the operation of the Devils Lake West End Outlet structure, which can pump water out of Devils Lake at the rate of 250 cubic feet per second. The Devils Lake basin is a 3,810 square-mile sub-basin of the Red River of the North with no natural outlet until lake levels reach an elevation 1,458, at which it flows through Tolna Coulee into the Sheyenne River.

U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp talks with Mississippi Valley Division Commander Maj. Gen. Michael Wehr, center, and St. Paul District Commander Col. Dan Koprowski following a stakeholder meeting at Minot City Hall July 6, 2015. This is Maj. Gen. Wehr's first trip to see areas damaged in Minot and Ward County, N.D., during the 2011 flood.

U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp talks with Mississippi Valley Division Commander Maj. Gen. Michael Wehr, center, and St. Paul District Commander Col. Dan Koprowski following a stakeholder meeting at Minot City Hall July 6, 2015. This is Maj. Gen. Wehr's first trip to see areas damaged in Minot and Ward County, N.D., during the 2011 flood.

Nathan Wallerstedt, St. Paul District project manager for Minot, N.D., area projects, points out items of interest to Mississippi Valley Division Commander Maj. Gen. Michael Wehr and stakeholders during a bus tour following the stakeholder meeting on July 6. This is Maj. Gen. Wehr's first trip to see areas damaged in Minot and Ward County, N.D., during the 2011 flood.

Nathan Wallerstedt, St. Paul District project manager for Minot, N.D., area projects, points out items of interest to Mississippi Valley Division Commander Maj. Gen. Michael Wehr and stakeholders during a bus tour following the stakeholder meeting on July 6. This is Maj. Gen. Wehr's first trip to see areas damaged in Minot and Ward County, N.D., during the 2011 flood.

Tom Pabian, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Lake Darling Operations Manager, briefs Maj. Gen. Michael Wehr, Mississippi Valley Division commander, on the dam’s operation, during the commander’s recent visit to North Dakota on July 6. Lake Darling is approximately 30 miles upstream of Minot, N.D.

Tom Pabian, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Lake Darling Operations Manager, briefs Maj. Gen. Michael Wehr, Mississippi Valley Division commander, on the dam’s operation, during the commander’s recent visit to North Dakota on July 6. Lake Darling is approximately 30 miles upstream of Minot, N.D.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple talks with Maj. Gen. Michael Wehr prior to the start of the Devils Lake Executive Committee, or DLEC, meeting July 8, 2015. The DLEC, co-chaired by the commander of the Mississippi Valley Division and the governor of North Dakota,  is comprised of representatives from more than 20 Federal, State, tribal, local agencies and governmental entities.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple talks with Maj. Gen. Michael Wehr prior to the start of the Devils Lake Executive Committee, or DLEC, meeting July 8, 2015. The DLEC, co-chaired by the commander of the Mississippi Valley Division and the governor of North Dakota, is comprised of representatives from more than 20 Federal, State, tribal, local agencies and governmental entities.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Mississippi Valley Division Commander Maj. Gen. Michael Wehr and St. Paul District Commander Col. Dan Koprowski visited the cities of Minot and Devils Lake, North Dakota, July 6-8, to meet with members of Congress, state and local officials and to see Corps projects in the region.

The trip was broken into two parts. July 6, involved a public meeting in the Minot City Council chambers where the commanding general was briefed on the proposed Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection project along with desire and importance for the Souris River Basin to be selected as a Corps feasibility study new start. Also present at the briefing were Sens. John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp, Rep. Kevin Cramer, Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, Minot Mayor Chuck Barney, Ward County officials and Souris River Joint Board members.

Maj. Gen. Wehr stressed that competition is heavy for federal dollars and how they should be spent. “If we can show a community that is willing to make hard decisions, willing to improve where it can, and then just needs that federal assistance, I believe that's what we're after."

Following the briefing, Maj. Gen. Wehr went on a bus tour of the area with stakeholders, with the intent to gain a better understanding of the 2011 flood event and the magnitude of the Souris River Joint Board’s proposed flood risk management project. The tour also gave the commander a more comprehensive view of a proposed Souris River basin feasibility study to reduce flooding.

The next stop on his trip of North Dakota projects was to Devils Lake, where Maj. Gen. Wehr received a tour of the basin to gain a better understanding of challenges the communities face.

Devils Lake at its current elevation has no natural outlet. In 1993, according to the North Dakota State Water Commission, the lake was at its lowest recorded levels at 1,422.62 feet. At its peak, in June 2011, the lake hit an elevation of 1,454.3 feet, rising approximately 32 feet and covering an additional 261 square miles of land.

“To mitigate that danger and risk is the most important thing. I think you've achieved that in Devils Lake,” Maj. Gen. Wehr stated. “This a great opportunity to see the success of the collaboration with the state, federal, and local levels.”

Capping off the trip was the Devils Lake Executive Committee meeting, a committee the general co-chairs with North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple. The committee meets face-to-face once a year, until now. The group passed a motion changing the meetings to as-needed, an indication of the progress that has been made protecting the communities in the basin.