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Moorhead gets bugs out of sandbag equipment

Wednesday was a brighter day for Moorhead sandbag production, which was plagued in its first couple of days by technical problems. Both of the city's spider sandbag-making machines were 100 percent functional, though only one was producing sandba...

Wednesday was a brighter day for Moorhead sandbag production, which was plagued in its first couple of days by technical problems.

Both of the city's spider sandbag-making machines were 100 percent functional, though only one was producing sandbags Wednesday, said Chad Martin, the city's director of operations.

A conveyer system that will allow both machines to run at the same time is expected to be completed by today.

Together, the two spider machines can produce 100,000 sandbags a day.

Martin said the sandbag machine that was running Wednesday cranked out about 5,000 bags an hour, a healthy pace. A volunteer crew that numbered about 35 throughout the day placed sandbags onto pallets for storage at a storehouse separate from the sandbag factory, he said.

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About 70 volunteers will be needed to keep up with sandbag production once both spider machines are running simultaneously, Martin said.

The site where volunteers are needed is at 2419 12th Ave. S. Use the door on the northwest corner. Hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., including Saturday, when the city hopes for a big production day, Martin said.

People signing up for the first time should bring a photo ID.

Moorhead City Council member Mark Hintermeyer said Moorhead is still in the start-up phase of its sandbag production, and he said residents can be confident the city will be ready to meet any flood.

"We're going to see this play out in a very good fashion," he said.

Given equipment now in place and the plan the city has to battle a flood, "this is so much easier than last year; you can't really compare," he said.

If you go

  • Where: Volunteers are needed in Moorhead to help place sandbags onto pallets. The location is 2419 12th Ave. S. Volunteers may park at the site, but MATBUS will also provide free rides for sandbag stacking. Residents are encouraged to ride MATBUS Route 3.

  • For bus schedule information, call (701) 232-7500, or go to: www.matbus.com .

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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