MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Communities in the Fargo and Moorhead areas are coming together filling sandbags as the impeding flood season creeps upon them.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar traveled to Moorhead, Minn. on Friday and said the efforts there are amazing.
“They still have hundreds and hundreds of volunteers there,” said Klobuchar. “They’re filling bags and then fastening them …”
Klobuchar attended the Red River Retention meeting and then toured sandbagging stations in Fargo. She also toured an area in Moorhead where entire homes have been removed anticipating the major flooding.
“There’s now a 20 percent chance, according to the National Weather Service, that the flood would peak higher than the one in 2009,” said Klobuchar. “And a 50 percent chance it will be somewhere in the same neighborhood.”
WCCO’s Edgar Linares Interviews Sen. Amy Klobuchar
Volunteers of all ages are working around the clock to fill bags.
“You had senior citizens right next to high school students,” described Klobuchar. “There were some guys from the work squad jail there. Everyone was shoulder to shoulder working together to fill those sandbags.”
Klobuchar says city and state leaders from Minnesota and North Dakota also discussed long-term solutions to the flooding such as retention walls and diversions.
“We can’t have sandbags be the solution every time. As workable as it is, this can’t be the permanent solution because the flood could go higher than the bags,” said Klobuchar.
Moorhead and Fargo’s focus right now is getting ready for spring. Klobuchar says she’s also working with federal agencies to be prepared.
“We’ve been working with FEMA to make sure they’re ready to go. They understand the serious threat with all the snow.”
Klobuchar says the difference between now and two years ago is that the community has taken a lot of efforts to get ready. In Moorhead, they’ve literally moved over 100 homes off some of the most flooded areas.
They’ve also streamlined their sandbagging operations and have made arrangements with local law enforcement one month ahead of time. And with more snow in the forecast Klobuchar hopes their efforts won’t go to waste.
“More snow is not a friend to these flooding efforts. There is so much snow in Moorhead. And you just know this isn’t going to help. Because the more snow, the more melting and we’re getting very close to the melting time,” said Klobuchar.