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Firefighters are searching the Sheyenne River for a man who was riding in a rubber raft when it capsized early this morning

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VALLEY CITY - Firefighters are searching the Sheyenne River for a man who was riding in a rubber raft when it capsized early this morning.

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Valley City police Chief Fred Thompson said the man and two other men got into the raft about 1 a.m. near the footbridge by Main Street.

They floated downstream on the fast-moving river about a half mile to the Little Dam, where the raft capsized, Thompson said.

Police and bystanders managed to pull two of the men from the river, but the third is still missing, the chief said.

Thompson said rescuers in boats have been searching the river, and others have been walking the banks looking for signs of the man. A dive team has been called to the scene, the chief said.

Upstream at the Baldhill Dam, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began reducing the water flow about 3:30 a.m. to make searching easier, said Rich Schueneman, who oversees the dam that's 12 miles northwest of Valley City.

The river level in Valley City was just over 9 feet about 8 a.m., and with the reduction in flow, the Corps hopes to lower the level to 4.25 feet, Schueneman said. Flood stage is 15 feet.

In May 2012, a 38-year-old woman drowned in the Sheyenne River while trying to save her dog from the water near the Little Dam, which is on the southwest side of the city

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