NDSU students and faculty were out in force for sandbagging efforts at the FargoDome on Monday. After getting her own water issues under control, Kayla Peterson, an NDSU animal health major said she and her friends turned out to sandbag at the Dome “because it seems like the right thing to do.” On Monday Peterson’s home on 7th Street North had a broken sump pump leading to water in the basement. After moving their furniture out of harms way and cleaning up a lot of water, they were able to get someone to fix the sump pump. Then it was time to go help others.
“Controlled chaos” how one NDSU soil scientist described the activity as hundreds of students shoveled sand into new polyurethane bags. With classes suspended indefinitely, students have turned their attention and energy to the flood fight. By mid-afternoon Monday more than 300 people were working on the sandbag effort on the Dome’s south side. The Red Cross was on hand with beverages; sandwiches and snacks for the workers and a Red Cross official estimated they had served between 600 and 700 people since arriving at noon.
Waist-high pallets of white bags, each weighing about a ton and holding 50-60 bags were strung in rows through the parking lot and skid loaders with forklifts were everywhere moving the pallets as the shovel teams finished with them. Workers dodged dump trucks of sand and other heavy equipment to fetch a cup of coffee or new bundles of empty sandbags.
Most of the workers at the FargoDome site were working with shovels and sand piles. One small automatic machine was on hand and being staffed by NDSU students, but keeping it full of sand was a challenge.
Meanwhile, the Dome’s north side is Bus Central and workers there reported that traffic has been steady and at times very high with buses running to sandbagging sites about every 20 minutes.