WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 20, 2012, 10:34 PM

Recent rains are pushing water farther up on Devils Lake near Perham

(WDAY TV) - Recent rains are wreaking havoc, and pushing water farther up people's property on Devils Lake near Perham.

Recent rains are wreaking havoc, and pushing water farther up people's property on Devils Lake near Perham. The fear of rising water is an every-day reality for families on the lake, but homeowners won't let it break their spirit. Instead, they're searching for solutions.

It can be hard to understand how Jeane Nelson can stay so positive. Every day she struggles, facing a flood fight.

Jeane Nelson: "Some days it is the challenge of the work, some days it is the hardship others are bringing to me they're facing, some days it's the water."

There's no relief for the Nelson's this spring. Two inches of rain last night -- plus 5 a few weeks back.

Jeane Nelson: "Watching the rain puts a big lump in your throat."

Now, a fortress surrounds her home - more than 5 thousand sandbags, a dike, plus pumps; her prime, lake-side property is now a soggy, sloppy mess. Yet Nelson won't give up hope.

Jeane Nelson: "I'm the mom. It's heartfelt. This is where I've raised my children."

Last year, the Nelson's put in a row of concrete blocks, hoping it would hold back water. Now, the water has pushed past these blocks, and is inching closer and closer to their home."

Jeane Nelson: "It's a lot easier to fight the water then tear your home down."

The Nelsons, and other flood fighters have a solution; setting up an irrigation system, sending this water to farmland close by.

It's a costly fix, each of the 100 homeowners would have to pitch in 3 thousand dollars each and Nelson's confident it will work.

Jeane Nelson: "80 percent of the water will be used up. 20 percent could easily go back into the ground. But that's over there. It will take a while to get back here."

Across the lake, rising water is a headache for homeowners.

Kenneth Brewster – Devils Lake Homeowner: "You got that right, trying to get everybody lined up, contractors, movers."

Yet Kenneth Brewster says he's not on board -- the costly fix is not a guarantee.

Kenneth Brewster – Devils Lake Homeowner: "Two Engineers say it will work, two say it won't work."

To Nelson, even if the effect is small - every inch counts -- saving her shoreline, her home, her family memories.

Devils Lake homeowners are meeting Saturday to talk about the irrigation system.