By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

The Parkers Prairie area in southeastern Otter Tail County is part of the Long Prairie River Watershed which also includes portions of Douglas, Wadena, Todd and Morrison Counties.

This is an important factor when high water issues near Nelson Lake, west of Parkers Prairie, are addressed. Water flows southward from this area of Otter Tail County.

Otter Tail County commissioners will meet with representatives of the Long Prairie River Watershed and neighboring counties on July 20 to address this issue at Long Prairie in Todd County, southeast of Parkers Prairie. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the county courthouse.

Helping to coordinate this meeting is Otter Tail County Commissioner Bob Lahman who represents the Parkers Prairie area. Lahman addressed this issue with Otter Tail County commissioners on July 11.

In preceding months high water has adversely affected Highway 6 near the north side of Nelson Lake. Flooding of nearby croplands also has taken place.

Previously, a petition for a new outlet running southward from Nelson Lake, west of Parkers Prairie, to nearby Fish Lake was submitted to the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners. A committee has also worked on this issue.

Any go-ahead for this plan would start with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Involved with this process the past several months has been Fargo-based Houston Engineering which has studied the high water issues near Parkers Prairie for the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners. Their goal was to determine the best corridor for an outlet and provide a cost/benefit analysis.

Original plans called for making use of current Ditch 45. However, at a public meeting, it was determined this was not a viable option. Residents downstream, in Douglas County, question whether they can handle more water coming south from the Parkers Prairie area.