By Terri Kelly Barta
The Sheyenne River at Lisbon was predicted to crest at under 17’ by noon on Saturday, March 20, but Mother Nature had a glitch in the way of ice jams.
Starting on Sunday afternoon, the Sheyenne River at Fort Ransom had ice jams almost up to the dam, according to Pastor Dave Carlson who took pictures of it. Daleyn Baasch’s D’s excavating took care of those and then was called to Lisbon for the same problem.
After working on ice jams during the night at the highway 27 bridge, the back hoe was moved to the north bridge for ice jams, there. They will be working on chopping the ice and keeping the Sheyenne River flowing most of Monday, March 22. They will need to go to the Hwy 27 bridge again this afternoon and plan to work south of the Jackson Avenue bridge before the day is out.
By Saturday morning, March 20, the Sheyenne River at Lisbon had dropped to just below 16’ according to the National Weather Service and it appeared to have crested and was going down again. However, ice jams starting on Sunday changed the pictured. The Sheyenne River level on Sunday was 16.4’ and rising. On Sunday and Monday, ice jams began causing serious problems. By noon on Monday, March 22 the river level at Lisbon was 18.27’ according to the NWS. Although the water was lapping at the Highway 27 bridge in the early afternoon on Monday, the City had the problem under control.
The National Guard and U.S. Corps of Engineers left the community on Friday, March 19 as they had expected the crest. The City of Lisbon is currently in the capable hands of Flood Coordinator Morrie Saxerud who was appointed by Mayor Ross Cole to lead the flood fight, Randy Seelig, Public Works Superintendent, the Lisbon Fire Department headed by Joe Billing and Lisbon Police Department headed by Chief Jeanette Persons with assistance as needed from other law enforcement agencies. These community leaders can call on The Guard and The Corps if more assistance is needed. Conditions in Lisbon are also being closely monitored by the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services.
“Because the first crest was predicted to be somewhere near or below 17’, the City of Lisbon is, at this point, protected by strong levees of 21’ and certain areas of the city are protected to 23’,” said Kevin Baumgard, engineer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, on Friday, March 19.
The picture changed over the weekend but for now, the city is still protected by the levees. However, there are still many roads closed in Ransom County. Motorists are asked to respect the signs, find alternate routes, and use caution when driving in these rural areas.