Sandbags vs. dikes debate renewed


Would you buy a house in Moorhead if it was near the Red River?

Today, the Fargo Forum reported that Moorhead’s flood fight budget was higher than expected, partly because paid labor was used to make sandbags for distribution to the neighborhoods. But it was also one of the most efficient processes in the region’s flood-fighting history that turned the fourth-largest crest in history into a relative — if expense — non-event.

“I think the real goal is for the city to get out of making sandbags by next year,” the mayor of Moorhead said, something that isn’t likely to happen Mayor Max Voxland wants homeowners to build permanent dikes between the river and their homes, instead. That’s especially true for homes, like the one in the photo above, one with walk-out basements.

The papers says that even after the DNR bought (and removed) many homes along the river, there are still about 300 that require annual sandbagging. The mayor said it would be in a property owner’s interest to build permanent protection because it would make a home more appealing to a buyer, according to the Forum.

That observation should renew a debate: Should officials be encouraging people to live on the banks of the river?

  • Jim Shapiro

    Dear Bob –

    Although some of my best friends are dikes (am I gonna be in trouble for that one?),

    filling sand bags undeniably helps to re-enforce a sense of community.

    Aside from dry basements, isn’t that what so many of us are ultimately looking for?

  • Vivian

    @ Jim

    aha! Sandbagging promotes community! I’ll have to sign up for that one next year.

    I should have figured though. Michelle Bachman sandbags and if Michelle sandbags then you know it must be good and holy.

    I think your comment is safe as long as you don’t poke at the Christians, they’re kinda touchy about certain subjects like their water whether it is in bottles or in their basement.

  • Jim Shapiro

    Dear Vivian – While I was not aware of Michelle’s sandbagging activities (what does she use? Earl Gray?),

    I am relatively certain that she has a constitutional right to carry as many concealed sandbags as her black little heart desires.

    Besides, every community has at least one village idiot/ factually and ethically challenged politician, and to exclude them from publicity-seeking token labor would be discriminatory.

  • Vivian


    I believe Michelle sand bagged in an open toe heeled sandle. (Why Bob never asks these kinds of questions on his weekly NewsCut quizes?!)

    I believe she sand bagged in that quaint little town called Stillwater. Volunteer sand baggers get rewarded in heaven.

    I also believe that Bob Collin -here- wrote a story about it.

    I believe you missed out.

    I can imagine she prefers sleepytime over earl gray….maybe

    I can imagine that volunteer sandbaggers save the affected cities and insurance companies a bundle when the water rises, unless these homes are not covered because of their proximity to the water.