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John Lamb, Published March 17 2010

FLOOD UPDATE: Spirits high as waters rise near Fargo's South River Road

Friends old and new turned out in force Wednesday morning to build sandbag dikes along Fargo’s South River Road.

Mike and Stephanie Lacher, who used to live in the neighborhood until they moved in 1987, were back to help out friends still in the neighborhood.

“This is so different from last year,” Mike said, referring to the city’s plan. “They are so well organized this year.”

Last year residents were forcedtoleave the neighborhood in the middle of the night because of flooding threats.

Hundreds of students from Shanley High School arrived around 9 a.m. and quickly dispatched pallets of sandbags in the street to top levees in back yards that faced the encroaching Red River. As soon as they finished one house they moved on to the next.

It only took a single row of sandbags to top John Stern’s backyard berm he built up after the 1997 flood. Still, he was thankful for all the help, not only from students but also the nice weather.

“I’ve learned three things in all my flood fights,” he said looking out at the river. “Be prepared. Never Give up. And trust in God.”

He looked up at the sky and raised his arms out a little bit and said, “Thy will be done.”