By Amelia Santaniello, WCCO-TV

STILLWATER, Minn. (WCCO) — The St. Croix River doesn’t look like much of a threat right now and traffic is crossing the lift bridge as usual.

However, Stillwater residents know it’s just a matter of time until temperatures and water levels rise.

“We are planning to fill 140,000 sandbags, and it make take us up to three weeks to do that,” said Beth Wolf, the Stillwater public works secretary.

Stillwater officials wanted to start filling sandbags last week, but waited for this week’s warmer temperatures. Volunteers of all ages answered the call, including a man from Wisconsin.

“I was surprised how many of the younger kids are here, but they seem to be the most enthusiastic of the bunch,” said Gerhard Benz of Hudson, Wis.

Lisa Downie, 16, is one of those kids, and she, as she packed sandbags, she thought about the flooding that has engulfed parts of Japan.

” With the flooding there, it’s so much more intense, but seeing how something like this could happen here, it’s good to be prepared,’ Downie said.

The Salvation Army is one the scene and has set up a tent through which workers can get food and register to volunteer.

The city of Stillwater has also bought a sandbag-filling machine, which cost $200,000.


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