Headwaters Relief Organization Responds to the Threat of Red River Flooding

March 3, 2009
395Headwaters Relief Organization Responds to the Threat of Red River Flooding

FLOODING IN THE FARGO / MOORHEAD AREA PROMPTS HEADWATERS RELIEF ORGANIZATION TO SEND VOLUNTEERS.

Headwaters Relief Organization sent a group of six volunteers to the Fargo / Moorhead area on March 27th and March 28th, in response to the threat of Red River flooding in the region.  While there, the volunteers worked on the sandbagging efforts.

Jason Hoffrogge, Training Director with Orion Associates, led this group.  The following are from his reflections on the trip:

“As we crossed over the Red River on Interstate 94, passing from Moorhead, Minnesota into Fargo, North Dakota, we could see that the water was almost up to the bridge and was spilling into the ditches along the highway.

We got to the Fargo Dome just after 10:00 AM on Friday, March 27th.

We didn’t receive any formal orientation or training, but simply watched what other people were doing and joined in.  Our work consisted of shoveling sand from one of eight huge piles into bags that another person held.  Then, the bags were tied off and passed down a line to pallets, where they were stacked.

The volunteers around us were very eager to work.  They were friendly and we met a lot of people.  Most of those we met lived in the area, and it was interesting to hear there stories.  Our Headwaters t-shirts made us stand out and lot of people asked us about them.  I passed out a few business cards to people who may be interested in joining us in the future.

We worked until 4:30 PM, when they shut down the sandbagging process in the Fargo Dome.  We understood that there were about three hundred thousand sandbags completed in the Dome when we left.

On Saturday, March 28th, our group was directed to a city garage where we filled sandbags again until 2:30 PM.  As the sandbagging process was shutting down, we heard that approximately three and a half million sandbags had been made.

The volunteer process during this emergency quite formalized.  There were a large number of the trained volunteers from the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Fire Departments, Emergency Medical Technicians, and the National Guard.  They handled the evacuation and shelter processes.  Other volunteers, including our group, were assigned to sandbagging.

The people of Fargo and Moorhead were cautious, but in good spirits.  It seemed as if they had a sense of duty to get out and do whatever was needed to stop the flood.

We had a great crew that worked incredibly hard whenever they were asked.  It was actually tougher to ask them to stop working!”

Donations to the Headwaters Relief Organization can be made payable to the Headwaters Relief Organization Fund, and all donors will receive a charitable tax deduction receipt in the mail.  In order to donate, please contact Cheryl Vennerstrom, at 763-450-5007, or e-mail her at cvennerstrom@orionassoc.net.

All tax deductible donations to the Headwaters project should be made to the:

Headwaters Relief Organization Fund
9400 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, Minnesota  56427

Headwaters Relief Organization
Red River Flooding Relief Trip
Fargo, North Dakota – Moorhead,Minnesota
Project Volunteers

Dave Comb,  Emily Ford, Jason Hoffrogge,  Brady Johnson,  Eon Smith,  Patty Smith

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