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Breckenridge, Wahpeton breathe sigh of relief

Residents of Wahpeton, N.D., and Breckenridge, Minn., welcomed news Tuesday of a revised crest forecast of about 18 feet, more than a foot lower than the neighboring communities braced for the day before.

"It's a big relief," said Wahpeton Mayor Jim Sturdevant. "We're sitting back and relaxing a little bit."

Officials on both sides of the Red River said they didn't foresee any major issues. They were keeping an eye on dikes in town, and getting ready to share unneeded sandbags with neighboring communities and possibly even cities in Clay County.

"The weather system didn't drown us as expected," said Wilkin County (Minn.) Emergency Manager Vernon Woytassek. "It turned everybody's attitude around here."

He said volunteers continued to fill sandbags at the Wilkin County Highway Department building in Breckenridge and distributed them to communities in rural Wilkin County, where many roads remained closed.

The river was expected to crest late Tuesday.

Wahpeton's Dakota Avenue, which becomes Minnesota Avenue across the border, was closed Tuesday because of water pooling on the Minnesota side. Residents looking to cross the river had to take the Highway 210 bypass north of town. Sturdevant said his city would open Dakota as soon as water drained in Breckenridge.

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