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

The scene at the FARGODOME

Thousands of volunteers fill sandbags at the FARGODOME Friday morning.

Thousands of volunteers fill sandbags at the FARGODOME Friday morning.

The north Fargo indoor stadium, called the FARGODOME, has been stripped to its concrete floor. It’s where North Dakota State University plays football.

The north half of what would be the football field is covered in pallets of sandbags, which are being kept here until they’re deployed partly out of concern that they’ll freeze outdoors and not fill in well once stacked.

Diesel engines are humming and trucks are beeping as they back up. Diesel fumes hang in the air, and there is an army volunteers filling sandbags down there. Ozzy Osborne just came on the speaker system.

Looks like three or four thousand people. Many of them are college kids, but there are old people, little kids. Reminds me a little of the heroic effort on the Edgewood Road bridge in June.

Trucks and endloaders or forklifts are cycling in from outside like clockwork, dumping sand and hauling out sandbags.

City Commissioner Mike Williams said Fargo residents have filled 2.5 million sandbags.

The goal right now is to reinforce existing dikes. Last night, the National Weather Service said the Red River might reach 43 feet this weekend, which would be almost two feet over the record, set in 1897. The emergency city commission meeting was a little grim, as residents tried to decide whether to sandbag their own homes, and the commission toyed with ordering mass evacuations of neighborhoods that lie on the wet side of second-line-of-defense dikes.

But the crest firmed up at 41.5 feet this morning, and commissioners had a little more hop in their step.

But the volunteer machine is still cranking at the FARGODOME.

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Filed under: Cedar Rapids City Council, Flood, , , , , ,

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