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Authorities search for missing rafter near Valley City

Searchers are seen Monday at the Sheyenne River in Valley City, N.D., where they are looking for a man who went missing after rubber raft he was riding in capsized early Monday morning. David Samson / Forum News Service

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

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 was still missing, the chief said Monday.

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.

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