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Published April 12, 2011, 04:57 PM

Near-record Crests Now Predicted for Valley City, Lisbon

In response to National Weather Service predictions that that Sheyenne River will crest 2 feet higher than originally predicted, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin raising existing levees another foot in Valley City.

By: Forum Communications Report,

VALLEY CITY, N.D. - In response to National Weather Service predictions that that Sheyenne River will crest 2 feet higher than originally predicted, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin raising existing levees another foot in Valley City.

The weather service had expected the river to crest Tuesday night at 18.5 feet. Meteorologist Greg Gust says the river is now expected to crest Friday morning at 20.5 feet. A record crest of 20.6 feet was set in 2009.

Valley City officials say the town is protected to 22.5 feet with sandbags and earthen dikes.

Gust says additional runoff into the Upper Sheyenne River and releases from the Baldhill Dam upstream from Valley City changed the crest forecast.

The crest forecast also has changed for Lisbon, which is south of Valley City. The river is expected to crest early next week at 20.9 feet. Earlier predictions pegged the crest at 18.5 feet.

The corps shored up Valley City's existing system to a river stage of 21 to

21.5 feet last week. It will now raise these levees to protect to a level of 22.5 feet. Six-D Construction Co. of Valley City will complete the work.

In a news release, the corps stated that flows out of Baldhill Dam may reach historic levels this week because it may need to release record outflows Thursday to account for water flowing into the reservoir that is exceeding 2009 levels.

The U.S. Geological Survey measured 7,000 cubic feet per second at Warwick on Monday, which is 2,000 cfs above the record flow from 2009, according to the corps release. This flow will continue on down the Sheyenne River, through Cooperstown and into the Lake Ashtabula reservoir during the next week. The weather service is predicting a peak inflow value of more than 10,000 cfs into the reservoir.

To manage this, the corps stated it increased outflows Tuesday to 6,500 cfs. Outflows may be raised Thursday to 7,000 cfs and held for several days. The peak outflow in 2009 was 6,700 cfs, and held for one day. The corps needs to begin releasing this water in order to ensure the reservoir does not fill up and flow uncontrolled toward downstream communities.

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