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Lind: Sweet flood stories pour out of Fargodome

Dave Wey, a member of the audiology department at Innovis Health in Fargo, was in awe over what he saw when working with the massive sandbag-filling operation at the Fargodome.

Dave Wey, a member of the audiology department at Innovis Health in Fargo, was in awe over what he saw when working with the massive sandbag-filling operation at the Fargodome.

"There were people of all ages there," Dave said; "elderly people, kids, everything in between. There were men and women, people of different races, it made no difference; they worked side by side for a common cause."

Every community hit by flooding - Fargo, Moorhead, area towns - has countless stories. These are some pulled out of the Fargodome, where normally the Bison crank out touchdowns but where in recent days volunteers cranked out sandbags.

Dave isn't alone in noting the people of different races, genders and ages working as teams.

Fargo City Commissioner Tim Mahoney said that Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., "was touched by the fact that in a crisis we all work together regardless of our background, education and position in life."

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Case in point: A neurosurgeon was seen working with an inmate from the Cass County Jail, from which they had been released, under guard, to help fight the flood.

"When we have walked around with all the people," Tim said, "you are struck by their strength and resolve in this difficult time. People take on this challenge with great courage.

"We are overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of help we are getting."

Sweet Sue

Meet Sue Olson. She's from West Fargo, she works in the Women's, Infants and Children (WIC) program for Clay County Public Health, and she was filling sandbags at the dome. And to one man at the dome, she's something of a guardian angel.

The man, who doesn't want to be identified, is of senior-citizen age, he said his wife was worried he'd throw out his back while filling the bags, and she prayed he'd be all right.

So this guy just barely got started filling bags when Sue, working nearby, and who didn't know him at all, clearly noticed his age and suggested he take a job sitting down and tying bags, because it would be easier on his back.

From time to time during the several hours he worked, Sue would come by and check on him, sometimes finding less back-straining jobs for him.

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The guy said he went home feeling a little stiff, but with absolutely no back problems. And, he said, his wife was very grateful for this gal Sue.

We can still laugh

Despite the hard work, despite the flood crisis, the people never lost their sense of humor. Two representative stories:

Sometimes the announcements over the public address system were virtually unintelligible due to the noise.

One time when such an announcement was made and a group of people were wondering what he said, one guy had the answer: "I think he said, 'First and 10, Bison.' "

Then there was this non-flood quip from Dave, whose last name is unknown, who is from the Alexandria, Minn., area, and who came to Fargo to help out:

Dave, a teacher for 30-some years, will retire next year. "After that," he said, "I don't care how many kids get left behind."

But you know he didn't mean it.

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The tie that binds

A non-dome story, concerning WDAY Radio's Al Aamodt, who usually is decked out in coat and tie:

Lately he was seen running around in his grubbies.

"Where's your tie, Al?" he was asked.

"Hanging in the closet," Awesome Al said.

And you know it will stay there until the crisis is over.

But then, you don't see too many guys in suits and too many gals in dresses in these parts these days, be they in the news business or anything else. Unless you're in law enforcement or the National Guard, grubbies are the uniform of the day.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to 241-5487; or e-mail blind@forumcomm.com

Related Topics: FARGODOME
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