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Published March 30, 2009, 04:01 PM

Oak Grove continues the clean-up, meets with FEMA

Oak Grove officials are optimistic today as they clean up damage caused by a leak early Sunday

By: Kelly Smith, INFORUM

Three buildings at Oak Grove Lutheran School remain dry today as National Guard, Army Corps of Engineers and school officials continue the clean-up in the two buildings flooded Sunday.

Today, the crews are continuing to patch up the leak, pump water out of the campus and sandbag around the flood wall to prevent a breach from happening again.

Recovery mode, though, is still a long ways off.

"We're still in response mode," Messelt said. "We're not giving up our home."

They just regained access to Benson Hall, the building that received the most extensive damage. Water remains in its basement, as well as Jackson Hall.

Messelt and High School Principal Morgan Forness gave local and national media a tour of the damage this afternoon, sounding optimistic they'll recover from this week's damage.

"The part that we salvaged part of campus .. we still have hope here," Forness said.

Now, Forness and Messelt are meeting with FEMA representatives to discuss planning to receive federal damage reimbursement.

It's still unknow what the 300 middle and high school students and 50 staff members will do next week. Officials hope to have a better sense of what they'll do on Wednesday. Both Concordia College and Fargo Public Schools have offered space.

As 24-hour dike patrol teams remain on guard today, Oak Grove knows this isn't the end of the flood fight.

"We can't even let our guard down today," Messelt said.

"We have a lot of work ahead of us," Forness added.

For more on the school's condition, read Tuesday's Forum.

Inforum searchword: flooding

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Kelly Smith at (701) 241-5515

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