27 March 2009
I finally got a hand on a sandbag
More narrative of my time embedded with the Fargo volunteer flood fighters on March 26
A plea for more volunteers swelled the flood fighter numbers drastically. With the system stressed by the larger turnouts, there was much waiting and confusion. Squads of Carhart clad volunteers sat on bleachers in the Assembly of God volunteer center eating and hoping to get out there to help. Buses were lining up outside. Some returned workers to the Fargo Dome and others took volunteers to possible work sites. I had been riding the bus most of the day and each time I got to the site the whole bus was told to return because there were too many workers.
As the sun began to set, I boarded another bus bound for some dike in south Fargo. On that bus I met up with a man who just arrived from Omaha with a friend from Hong Kong. Based on some phone calls made to the Red Cross hotline, Doug was unsure if he should make the trip. Nevertheless, Red Cross called him back and gave him to go ahead.
We arrived at a site in south Fargo and finally got our chance to pass the sandbags and re-enforce a dike. It was getting chilly and snow was falling. However, the crew kept at the work at hand. Unfortunately the last call for buses around 10PM diminished the workforce. More sandbags were coming but only one line of workers were still there. The only way to continue was to drive back on my own which I had no clue where I was and didn't want to violate police pleas not to be driving about.
I returned home, had a beer, and ate a pita. Then the phone rang.....