My sister and I went to Fargo and sandbagged for a couple days. Until you experience it you have no idea what hefting 3,000 bags of sand a day is like.
Ow, ow, ow. The people were absolutely fantastic. The home owners we were helping brought food and hot drinks out, the salvation army gave free massages at the FargoDome (I missed out on that
) and there were tons of folks up from the cities.
The first night we were there we went to the FargoDome to load bags and there were so many people swinging shovels it was actually dangerous being in the thick of it. After a few close calls we ended up taking the bus over to Sandbag Central, where things were still really busy, but the military kept it more organized and marginally safer. After some hours of this they began to run out of sand, so back to the dome, where they were running low on sand as well. Those bagging sites were absolutely crazy. The piles got smaller and smaller, but there were just as many shovels whirling around. I'm surprised there weren't any serious injuries.
The next morning we took the bus out to the dike. The forecast was for rain and snow and cold, but it actually turned out to be a very nice day (for standing in mud and heaving heavy things around).
All in all it was a good experience. Painful, but good. I took a few photos (as if you hadn't seen enough on the news) while we were taking breaks. You can see them on my Facebook page that I just started yesterday (Jon Atkinson).