Homeowners desperate for help as high water levels remain on Lake Shamineau

Shamineau water levels have overtaken this home along the lake.

Home and cabin owners on a lake south of Motley, Minnesota are feeling desperate.

The water is going up so fast, some have given up trying to save their property. Rising water has long been a problem at Lake Shamineau and a permanent fix is set for next year.

But, some residents worry that next year may be too late.

"We had a big area in here we used to play volleyball on and then there was sand outside of that," said Bob Koll.

When Bob and Cheryl Koll bought their house on Lake Shamineau 49 years ago, it had a yard and a beach. Now they are both long gone.

Bob and Cheryl Koll show how the rising water levels have encroached on their property over the years.

"The first 20 years or so it was like any other lake," said Bob. "It would be high in the spring, early summer."

A lake with no natural outlet, it’s steadily risen with the recent rains. It’s become a crisis that can’t wait for spring.

"It’ll be too late," explained Cheryl. "It’s too late for a lot of the people already. You know, people have walked away from their cabins and homes because there’s water in them. They don’t know what’s going to happen when the ice freezes.

The DNR says, over the past decade, the lake's waters have risen three and a half feet.

The DNR tracks the level of every lake. This one, over the past ten years, has gone up three and a half feet. To that end, the 365 home and cabin owners have agreed to a nearly $3 million plan to install pumps and pipes to move water about 3/4’s of a mile away and permanently drop Shamineau.

"And that’s all set up, almost ready to go," said Cheryl. "Construction hopefully to start in the spring; pumping next fall. It’s too late then. I mean it’s a good long-term solution so we can keep the lake at a good long-term level. But right now we need an emergency plan.

The owners along Shamineau are now appealing to the state to come in. Because property owners say they can’t keep up and can’t make it until next year.

Residents have taken every effort to keep waters at bay, including extensive sandbagging along the shore.

"Right now, we are about three feet over the ordinary high water mark," Cheryl concluded.

The hope is to get money from the legislature to help pay for the permanent solution. But also the hope to get some immediate attention to help deal with this. Because some owners have already walked away.