Draining Baker Lake has begun

Smith Contracting, Inc. of Butte placed pumps and started the Baker Lake dewatering project last week. The water is being pumped over a period of approximately 32 days barring any rain that could affect projected outcomes. Because the discharged water can not overtop the existing channel down through Baker to Sandstone Creek, the pump can only operate at 1350 RPM. DES Coordinator Chuck Lee said, “I believe we heard that when four feet of water had been removed from the lake that 60% of the lake would be exposed.” Residents are already noticing more shoreline. “When the water is almost gone,” said Lee, “FEMA will come look to see how much of the tornado debris field they will be removing before phase two begins.”