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Sheyenne and Wild Rice rivers causing significant overland flooding

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Conditions at the Absaraka Dam improved overnight as colder temps helped slow water in the spillway.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Cass County officials issued a pre-evacuation notice for eight homes downstream of the spillway, near Absaraka, N.D., as water eroded the earthen dam.

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The county's emergency manager, Dave Rogness, said colder temperatures slowed water spilling over the dam. The North Dakota National Guard monitored the area overnight and is ready to respond if needed.

Floodwaters overtook several more county roads, including three spots on Cass County 17 between West Fargo and Harwood, prompting County Engineer Keith Berndt again urged motorists to use caution.

The flood fight in rural Cass is far from over, though.

Berndt said the Sheyenne River continues to rise, forcing water to breakout south and north of the metro area. Residents living north of West Fargo have access issues as floodwaters head overland.

"We have properties along the Wild Rice and Sheyenne that we continue to have a host of problems, but all in all we're doing," County Administrator Bonnie Johnson said in a morning flood briefing.

Johnson said volunteers turned out Wednesday to bolster rural residents' defenses against floodwaters, and gave special thanks to high school students and FirstLink volunteers for their help.

The county also is watching and monitoring flood battles in smaller incorporated cities, like Oxbow and Briarwood, and is prepared to aid if needed.

The county also finished its clay levees Wednesday night, and patrols and security checkpoints will be in place today.

To aid with emergencies, the sheriff's department has setup quick response stations in Hickson and Harwood.

Kevin Gorder of the North Dakota Department of Transportation also gave a road update this morning.

Water over Interstate 29 south of Fargo has receded, but motorists traveling west of the metro on Interstate 94 should be aware that water is on the roadway about 50 miles west of Fargo.

In addition, road work on I-29 between Fargo and Harwood has helped keep the stretches of highway open thus far.

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