Tyler Schwantes and his buddies are digging into their first flood fight with all they’ve got. Schwantes, an NDSU management information systems major, spent Monday sandbagging in neighborhoods from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., took a short break and then filled bags at the Fargodome from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. They were back at the Fargodome at 8 a.m. Tuesday to catch a bus back to the neighborhood lines.
It’s kind of crazy,” Schwantes said from the sandbagging line at Lilac Lane in north Fargo, “Sheds are underwater. But it’s really cool to see a lot of people out helping.”
Joel Hagen, an NDSU staff member, also was on the bus to Lilac Lane this morning. He was working at the front of a long bucket brigade passing sandbags from a driveway to the back of the houses where they were stacked up four deep and tarped against the waters rising beyond them. Finishing one section, the sandbaggers, which Hagen said also included a lot of high school students and homeowners, would walk down the street to the next pile of sandbags and reform their human chain.
“It’s really muddy and they are using broken sandbags to put sand on the ice so people don’t slip,” Hagen said. Homeowners were putting out pop, chips, water and granola bars to help the workers keep their energy up.
On campus the sidewalks are nearly empty, but groups of students are steadily passing through the Memorial Union to volunteer, each grabbing a paper bag from a tower of bag lunches and bottled water as they head out to the bus stop on their way to a neighborhood in need. As of late Monday evening, 3,200 NDSU students had signed up to volunteer through the Memorial Union flood center; another 281 students volunteered to work overnight.