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Published December 16, 2012, 10:25 AM

Face of Devils Lake flooding leaving government

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A man who served nearly a quarter century on the Ramsey County Commission and became the face of the prolonged Devils Lake flood disaster is leaving government.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A man who served nearly a quarter century on the Ramsey County Commission and became the face of the prolonged Devils Lake flood disaster is leaving government.

But Joe Belford isn't leaving the fight to bring normalcy to a region that has suffered through two decades of water woes.

The 74-year-old Belford recently lost re-election after serving on the County Commission since 1988. But he says he'll continue working with the State Water Commission on Devils Lake issues, building on successes that have brought a sense of optimism to the basin.

They include the construction of two floodwater diversion outlets, the near-completion of about $500 million of road work, and a lessening of opposition from people downstream.

In Belford's words: "There's always been something to do since this thing started."

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