Senators Stop at Fargo Sandbag Central To Meet with Volunteers and Residents Congressman Peterson Joins Flood Meeting by Conference Call

FARGO-MOORHEAD – U.S. Senators John Hoeven and Amy Klobuchar toured flood preparation and prevention efforts in the Fargo-Moorhead area today. The Senators met with the Red River Retention Authority and Natural Resource Conservation Service to discuss plans to improve water retention throughout the basin as part of the Red River Valley’s overall water management plan, toured several infrastructure improvement project sites, and met with volunteers at Fargo Sandbag Central. Congressman Collin Peterson was unable to tour flood prevention efforts because of House votes today, but joined the meeting with the Red River Retention Authority and Natural Resource Conservation Service by conference call

“The rising river doesn’t divide Minnesota and North Dakota – it unites us, and that spirit of solidarity has brought us here today to look at flood preparation and prevention efforts,” Klobuchar said. “The flood prevention plans we looked at today are essential to protecting our farmers, families, and businesses impacted by devastating floods.”

“We are working to do all we can to support citizens and local officials in both their flood preparation and flood protection efforts,” Hoeven said.

Klobuchar and Peterson, members of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee and House Agriculture Committee, respectively, also raised the possibility of making changes to the next Farm Bill that would adjust some agriculture programs to support the Red River Valley retention efforts. Hoeven is also a member of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee and is working on flood protection efforts, as well.

The Senators also stopped at Fargo Sandbag Central, where volunteers began flood-preparation efforts last week. Moorhead’s sandbagging effort will launch tomorrow and the city will begin calling for volunteers starting on February 28th. The Cities of Fargo and Moorhead are working with the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce to fill 3.2 million sandbags to protect against flood levels that could reach 42 feet.

The Chamber is encouraging its business members to provide employee volunteers to help with the sandbagging operation during the normal business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The goal is to have 3.2 million sandbags filled, stored, and ready for use by mid-March, in order to avoid mandatory shut downs of businesses and mandatory evacuations. Businesses should contact Julie Yourczek, by phone at 218.233.1100 or email at julie.yourczek@fmchamber.com, to schedule employees for the sandbagging effort.

Hoeven also plans to meet in Devils Lake, N.D., on Wednesday, Feb.23, and in Fargo on Feb. 24 to work on flood preparation and protection efforts with Brigadier General Michael Walsh, commander of the Mississippi Valley Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.