Moorhead to distribute sandbagsThursday will be D-Day in the city of Moorhead, Minn. That’s “D” as in sandbag deployment, with the city planning to distribute filled bags to neighborhoods starting at 8 a.m. The timetable could be moved up if the weather warms significantly and accelerates the melt, or it may be pushed back if cold temperatures settle in.
By: By Dave Olson, Forum Communications Ci., The Jamestown Sun
Thursday will be D-Day in the city of Moorhead, Minn.
That’s “D” as in sandbag deployment, with the city planning to distribute filled bags to neighborhoods starting at 8 a.m.
The timetable could be moved up if the weather warms significantly and accelerates the melt, or it may be pushed back if cold temperatures settle in.
“The weather is going to be the wild card; it always is,” said City Manager Michael Redlinger.
The city says it can deliver 1.5 million sandbags in the span of four days.
To expedite delivery, residents are asked to let the city know where they want bags.
Requests can be made to zone leaders in each of Moorhead’s eight flood zones, or by phoning the city’s call center at 218-299-5300.
For now, the call center will be manned weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Hours will expand to 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. starting Thursday.
Contact information for reaching zone leaders in the city’s eight flood-fighting zones can be found at the city’s flood website: www.cityofmoorhead.com/flood/ .
Mayor Mark Voxland said homeowners living near the Red River should get ready for a flood, including:
* Making sure sewer drains are ready to be plugged.
* Clearing snow from areas where sandbag dikes will be built.
* Lining up core volunteers to help with dike building.
As in past years, the city will set up a large-scale volunteer center for those who want to help build sandbag dikes.
It will open at 8 a.m. Thursday at Nemzek Hall on the campus of Minnesota State University Moorhead.
As of Thursday, the city had filled about 1.1 million sandbags and officials said they expect the city will reach its sandbag-filling goal of 1.5 million bags sometime over the weekend.
Volunteers have been helping to place sandbags on pallets for storage and one last major push is planned for Saturday at the city’s sandbag storage center at 2419 12th Ave. S.
The sandbag storage center will be open and accepting volunteer help from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.
The city expects work to start this weekend or on Monday on clay levees at six specific locations in Moorhead.
The levees will serve as part of Moorhead’s primary line of defense against a spring flood.
Additional “secondary” clay levees could be built, but only if conditions warrant, said City Engineer Bob Zimmerman.
Below a river stage of 39 feet, few contingency dikes will be built on streets near the Red River, he said.
For river crests higher than 39 feet, contingency dikes will be built in some neighborhoods, with the number depending on how high the river rises.
At a forecasted river stage of 42 feet, most of the river corridor in Moorhead will get back-up clay dikes, which will be built in coordination with neighborhoods, Zimmerman said.
The city is asking that neighborhood sandbag dikes be built to an elevation of 43 feet.
Dave Olson is a reporter at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.