Let the sandbagging begin: heavy rains saturate the area

Jake and Dave Hvistendahl Froggy Bottoms sandbag team
The soggy Froggy Bottoms boys, led by Jake and Dave Hvistendahl, are sandbagging today, as heavy rains overnight and throughout the morning hours have pushed the Cannon River over its banks along the Riverwalk in downtown Northfield.

See the album of 10 24 65 165 222 278 286 307 324 345 370 379 397 photos, the large slideshow, or this small slideshow:


  1. Griff Wigley said:

    As the Senior VP of Photography for LoGroNo, I’ll be doing an aerial flyover of the flooded area this afternoon. Faribault Airport departure: 1 pm. Be sure to wave when we buzz downtown.

    September 26, 2010
  2. Felicity Enders said:

    I agree; in the absence of much experience in our volunteer corps, the sandbagging went quite well. That being said, I do have a couple of specific comments:

    1. We need two roving sandbag setups on each side of the river, moving as close as possible to the next location. Each setup should have 1 extension ladder, 3-4 cut orange cones, 2 tables, shovels, and sand/bags/ties that continue to arrive without delay.

    2. If there’s any choice, the city should avoid purchasing the yellow (BIG) sandbags. Also, sandbags with ties attached are much preferred.

    3. Whenever possible, shift volunteers to Olaf side of river. There were usually plenty of people passing by on Carleton side, but the Olaf side was trickier.

    4. Start early! The measures above would have helped quite a lot, as there was a fair amount of standing around and waiting (for sand/bags/ties) and then trickiness moving bags to correct location without always having sufficient people. But even so, the effort obviously started too late given the eventual river height.

    1 & 3 are especially necessary in case the bridges close to pedestrians.

    It seemed like emails worked well to bring out the students, which really saved things at the end of the day. The prevalence of back problems is much lower in the student population!

    September 26, 2010
    • Tracy Davis said:

      Very specific and helpful, Felicity. I’ll try to ensure that this feedback gets to the right people, who may not see it on LoGro.

      I’d like to echo what others have said, which is that the community as a whole did a fabulous job of responding to this crisis. I’d like to review the process afterwards so that we can improve the communication and mobilization, and ensure that Northfield has a strategy in place that will transcend changes in leadership or staff, but other than a few minor points, I’m not complaining.

      September 26, 2010
  3. Kathie Galotti said:

    I agree with what’s been said–the community response to the crisis was amazing. I was so proud to see so many Carleton students and faculty down near the Archer House Fri afternoon–and it was kind of a festive community atmosphere. That said, it would be good to get a little more organization of volunteers for next time.

    September 26, 2010
  4. Doug Peterson said:

    Grif and Locally Grown Gang–

    I was out of town during the flood but REALLY APPRECIATED THE PICTURES although it was hard to look at the devastation. The night pictures were especially interesting as I would believe many people were trying to get rest for the coming day’s work and would not have seen the situation at that time period; Same for the pictures from the airplane for the overall picture. I was impressed with the coverage and thankful it was captured on so many pictures for others to view. I hope each volunteer finds a personal account in one or more pictures to document that effort. Thanks to all.

    September 28, 2010
    • Griff Wigley said:

      You’re welcome, Doug. Thanks for your kind comments.

      FYI, Tracy spent many hours tweeting misc updates throughout the weekend while Ross was actually doing real work: sandbagging!

      September 29, 2010

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