27 March 2009

A Flood Fighter CodeRed

Further narrative of my time fighting the Red River flood in Fargo.
I settled down for a few minutes after returning from my earlier foray sandbagging in South Fargo. The phone rang just after I devoured an Extreme Pita. A CodeRed was issued to gather volunteers to increase the height of the main earthen dike just south of downtown. I a couple of moments I revived my wardrobe with some warmer attire and headed east about a half mile to the dike by foot. Hundred of citizens had already gathered and were heaving the sandbags up the dike. I joined the fight immediately and met up with some co-workers.
Earlier in the day while I was waiting, the crest forecast had risen to to something between 41' to 43'. Most of the dikes in town would need to increased especially the first line of defense along the Red River. The Island Park Dike only can contain about 41' from my recollections. At least 2' would need to be added to ensure security.
The weather was not very cooperative. The temps dipped into the teens and there was a wind chill. My toes where freezing in my boots. Plus a lot of the sandbags were frozen making it difficult to place the bags correctly. Work began at around a quarter 12 and continued into the morning. My roommate did not arrive home until 6:30 AM. Both of us were exhausted but a great deed had been done.

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