Saving Riverview Circle: John Brummer

Now we wait. John Brummer of Moorhead is finished with his portion of the giant sandbag dike that snakes along the Red River south from I-94. With any luck at all, he’ll get some sleep soon.

A crest that’s taking longer than expected, and thousands of young volunteers working harder than anyone could have imagined have some people in the neighborhood feeling better about things.

“I heard one guy say, ‘I’d like to say I’m feeling good, but you’re still nervous,’ and doing these little things like plugging these drain tiles, it provides better sleep medicine,” he told me on Tuesday.

“The college kids, high school kids and elementary kids have been fantastic. That keeps our attitude going in the right direction,” he said. “You feel all alone the week before. How are we going to get this done and woe is me, but when these guys show up, it’s ‘let’s have a party.'”

MPR’s Tom Roberson did a great job describing how things have changed in Fargo-Moorhead from the devastating flood of 1997. Brummer has one more for the list: better coordination between public safety officials and the homeowners.

“Dean from the Moorhead Fire Department (below) has been tremendous. Those guys are going around, shooting elevation on the sandbags, and letting us know whether we’re too high or two low,” he said. The locals are getting plenty of help from their counterparts in the Twin Cities. Firefighters from the Eden Prairie and Hopkins fire departments were stationed in Brummer’s neighborhood.


Out back, Brummer was ready for one final task. “We’re going to pull the plastic over (the sandbags) and it’ll be Miller time.”

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