The Hot Beat


The second-day story, with your help. Call Gazette reporter Adam Belz at (319) 398-8273 or e-mail him:

Eastern Iowans helping out in Fargo

I’ve talked to three people with Eastern Iowa ties in the last few minutes, all in Fargo-Moorhead to help the city respond to the flood.

Barb Pitt is here with a group of Red Cross volunteers — five from Cedar Rapids and two from Waterloo. They’re handing out meals to workers, working long days and planning to stay into next week.

“We were making delivery to the ambulance staging center,” Pitt said. “The workers are all beat.”

But she said people are generally “energetic” and “very appreciative.”

Tom Boeckmann, of Vinton, the administrative officer for the Iowa One Disaster Medical Assistance Team called this afternoon too. The team, headquartered at Kirkwood Community College, is on its way to North Dakota this afternoon. They’re a little north of Sioux Falls.

The team consists of 34 physicians, nurse practitioners, pharmacist, nurses, and other emergency personnel. They have the ability to run a self-sustained hospital in an austere environment without new supplies for many days, which is good because MeritCare Hospital in Fargo was evacuated last night.

The Disaster Medical Assistance Team is a unit of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and is based in the Community Training and Response Center on the Kirkwood campus. Team members live throughout Iowa and neighboring states. Most recently the team responded to Galveston Texas for Hurricane Gustav.

And finally, we ran into a guy named Dana Skare, who grew up in Marion and lived there until 1978.

Dana Skare checks out the Red River from a parking ramp in Moorhead, Minn. He's a volunteer from Rochester, Minn., who grew up in Marion.

Dana Skare, a Marion native, checks out the Red River from a parking ramp in Moorhead, Minn. He's a volunteer from Rochester, Minn., who grew up in Marion.

“I went to Linn-Mar,” Skare said.

Now he lives in Rochester, Minn., and drove up yesterday to help sandbag. He’s been at the FARGODOME most of the day.

“I couldn’t stand reading about it in the news, and seeing it on TV,” he said.

Actually lots of people around here seem to have Iowa ties, and there are people here to help from around the region.

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