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Quam returns to help N.D. town

U.S. Forest Service workers Kevin McElvaney, left, of Dickinson, N.D., and Stacy Swenson, of Kindred, N.D., help lay a sandbag dike April 9 to protect a home in Lisbon. Quam Construction of Willmar will return to Lisbon to shore up dikes on the swollen Sheyenne River. Forum photo by Michael Vosburg

WILLMAR -- A crew of nine workers with Quam Construction of Willmar returned to Lisbon, N.D., on Sunday evening to help with emergency work to shore up the dikes protecting the community from the rising Sheyenne River.

Dave Quam said the company received a call for emergency help around 5 p.m. Sunday and quickly rounded up a team of workers and heavy equipment to help with the dike building.

The Sheyenne River is expected to reach a record crest today, according to information provided the Willmar company.

The National Weather Service hydrology office is predicting a crest of 22 feet today in Lisbon, as compared to 19.3 feet recorded in the 1997 flood.

Quam construction had sent a crew on March 23 to help the city build up its earthen levee in preparation for the first crest in late March.

The work had succeeded, and the dikes protected the community against major flooding, said Quam.

He expects the crew to remain on the scene until Wednesday if not longer. The Sheyenne River has broken out of its banks as waters from the Baldhill Dam and Reservoir and swollen Devils Lake watersheds pour into it, said Quam.

He also reported that the community had evacuated the North Dakota Veterans Home on Saturday night.

The nursing home is protected by a dike and sandbags, but there were concerns that the only bridge serving it could be closed, according to published reports.

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