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Lisbon residents allowed to return as crews begin welfare checks on rural residents

LISBON, N.D. - Residents evacuated Thursday after a clay dike breach can return home after emergency responders shored up a large crack.

"The response was wonderful," Lisbon Mayor Ross Cole said this morning on KQLX FM radio. "People got out of the way."

He was encouraged after a quiet night in which there were no major problems.

Residents near where the Sheyenne River enters the northern stretches of town were told to evacuate Wednesday morning, but told about 4 p.m. that they could return.

It marked the second day of evacuations in the city, where the Sheyenne reached 22.84 feet Thursday night, well above the previous record of 19.29 feet in 1997.

However, the river has fallen to 22.54 feet at 7 this morning.

Cole, in an interview with Bruce Dougherty on KQLX, said sandbaggers from around the region helped shore up a sandbag dike between Fifth and Sixth avenues. Dougherty works at the radio station and serves as the public information officer for Ransom County.

"It was one of the weaker spots in town," Cole said.

The mayor urged residents to continue limiting water use until the river drops further.

"Don't get too sure this thing is over yet," he said.

In addition, a ban on truck traffic on Highway 27 remains in place.

Ransom County Emergency Manager Terese Rotenberger said the U.S. Coast Guard has set up in Lisbon and plans to help with evacuations, if necessary, and fly missions over the area.

The Coast Guard and Cass County sheriff's deputies are stationed there and plan to begin traveling by boat to rural farmsteads to check on residents.

Fort Ransom continued to hold its own against the Sheyenne, but property owners in Enderlin have reported seepage in their homes, said Rotenberger, who also appeared on the radio station this morning.

She said residents should be prepared to face high water for an extended period of time.

"This is something people are going to be going through for a while," Rotenberger said.

Property owners who have experienced damages from the flood should call the Federal Emergency Management Agency at (800) 621-3362.

KQLX is hosting live interviews with city and county leaders at 7:30 a.m. and 4:06 p.m. daily. The station can be found at 106.1 FM or online at