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"Local organizers are pleading for more help."

Metro Area Waters Rise
By Mark Zdechlik
April 8, 1997


Several communities in the Twin Cities are fighting rising flood waters even though the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers aren't projected to crest until sometime this weekend. Minnesota Public Radio's Mark Zdechlik reports.

ABOUT TEN MINUTES SOUTHEAST of downtown St. Paul, downstream on the Mississippi River, the town of Newport is getting ready for the river to crest.


Just a few yards from the rising water, a dump truck on loan from the city of Maplewood backs up toward a temporary dike to drop several hundred sand bags.


The dike here in Newport was built with the flat concrete barriers often used to separate lanes on freeways. A few days ago, new flood projections made it clear that the barriers alone wouldn't be enough to hold back the Mississippi, so city workers with the help by hundreds of volunteers are sandbagging in hopes of protecting numerous homes.

Tim Moore, a city of Maplewood public works employee who helping in Newport, says the work begins early and ends late. And Moore says there's so much sandbagging to do that crews could end up working on the dike right up to the point the river crests. That's supposed to happen sometime Sunday.


Some of the sandbags going into Newport's dike are being filled by high school kids such as Matt Bocan (sp?) of Coon Rapids who got out of a day of school in exchange for some hard labor.


Newport City workers say thanks to the hundreds of volunteers, they already have more than 100 THOUSAND sand bags on their dike. It's a similar story along the Mississippi in Fridley and in Brooklyn Center. Volunteers have also turned out by the hundreds in the St. Croix River Valley. Still, in virtually every place where there's been sandbagging, local organizers are pleading for MORE help.

In Stillwater Senior Engineering technician Tim Moore says work started late last week on a 2000-foot dike to protect downtown businesses is pretty much wrapped up. Moore says, provided the river rises no higher than projections, the city should be in good shape.


The city of Minneapolis is NOT expecting major flooding problems. Workers are, however, taking measures to hold back the MIssissippi between Lowry and Plymouth Avenues where a handful of homes and business are threatened. In St. Paul flooding is NOT expected to be a major problem either. However Holman field, the St. Paul airport, is becoming covered in water - as is Harriet Island.

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