By Jeanne Sexton-Brown
The Army Corps of Engineers and the contractors are coming back to Lisbon to raise the dikes and prepare to close the Highway 27 bridge Friday, April 15.
During a teleconference Tuesday, April 12 the Army Corps of Engineers and the city of Lisbon learned of new predictions warranting raising the dikes and calling for the ND National Guard’s assistance with traffic control.
“The contractors are working in Fort Ransom today,” said City Superintendent Randy Seelig. “Kevin Baumgard (Army Corps of Engineers) said they hope to have the contractors back with two crews to start raising the dikes.”
The new crest is set to hit Saturday, April 16 at 20.9 ft. The highway 27 bridge will be blocked off Friday, April 15 and be closed for up to 10 days according to the briefing held Tuesday, April 12.
A call for sandbaggers is going out to the school to assist with back up sandbags. The city is currently researching how many are needed and how many are on hand.
Moore Engineering will be setting stakes with the new elevations Wednesday, April 13.
The public is asked to steer clear of the haul route which will be coming from the borrow pit on the east hill and carrying clay to the area of the highway 27 bridge and south to the railroad bridge. They are looking at raising the levee on the east side for sure and may have to raise it on the west side as well. There is an area between highway 32 and Valley Street that also may need to be raised.
Riverside Drive will close on Friday afternoon, April 15 or Saturday morning, April 16.
The new projection is that the river will be flowing at 7,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). The corps will raise the dikes to a foot and a half to two feet of free board above the possibility of 8,000 cfs. (Free board is the space from the top of the water to the top of the dike.) The reason they are using the cfs terms instead of height of the river itself is due to the amount of water being released from Bald Hill Dam. The release is due to the inflows coming from north of Lake Ashtebulah. The Corps may need to release record outflows Thursday, April 14, 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, N.D., on Monday. This is 2,000 cfs above the record flow from 2009. This flow will continue on down the Sheyenne River, through Cooperstown, N.D., and into the reservoir, Lake Ashtabula, during the next week. The National Weather Service is predicting a peak inflow value of more than 10,000 cfs into the reservoir. The speed of the water increases the depth because of how fast it is flowing and it erodes the riverbanks.
All Lisbon residents are asked to be diligent with the water restrictions.
By Jeanne Sexton-Brown