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‘The river is going to do what it’s going to do, we’re ready for it.’: Lisbon preparing for potential flood waters

Published: May. 1, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - More and more smaller communities alongside the Sheyenne River are preparing for potential flood waters. That’s through sand bagging, flood gates and road closures, but many of them rely upon permanent flood walls to help minimize the impacts.

“The river is going to do what it’s going to do, we’re ready for it.” said Ross Cole, the former mayor of Lisbon from 2006-2014.

Cole witnessed first hand the destructive force of the 2009 floods. The water had overtaken the bridges, shops and businesses were closed, homes were ruined and students were out of class helping to fill up sand bags.

“It was unbelievable what we went through during the flood of 2009,” said Cole. “How people came out to help get to where we needed to do to save the town.”

However, those days seem to be long gone. Especially with the help from improved technology in their fight against the floods. Mayor of Lisbon, Tim Meyer, said he is keeping a close eye on the Sheyenne River and the forecast of when the river is supposed to rise. On Sunday, they were given a positive outlook with the river levels, but Mayor Meyer said they need to keep their guard up. Especially in the areas where there isn’t any permanent flood walls.

“We still have a part of the town that is not protected with permanent levees,” said Mayor Meyer. “Those we are walking and watching out because you never know in a flood fight situation, the river is high at 19 feet, you always got to be prepared.”

The National Weather Service is predicting that the Sheyenne River will reach major flooding level on May 3 at 19 feet in Lisbon.

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