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Charly Haley , Published April 01 2013

Sandbag Central ready to open to volunteers Wednesday

FARGO – City officials said preparations are going smoothly for Sandbag Central, the city-run sandbag-making operation which opens here Wednesday.

There are plenty of volunteers to work the day shifts at Sandbag Central for its first week, according to schedules posted online.

Many of volunteers are from schools, said Terry Ludlum, Fargo’s solid waste facilities director.

There are still more volunteers needed for the shifts from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

This year, the public volunteer shuttles will only run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., to encourage volunteering for evening shifts, as many of the day shifts are filled by schools and businesses, said Cindy Miller, executive director of FirstLink, which coordinates volunteers.

The shuttles leave from volunteer registration spots at West Acres’ JC Penney wing and Jitters Coffee Bar at 1414 12th Ave. N.

For years, the sandbagging hub has been located at Fargo’s solid waste department, 2301 8th Ave. N., because it’s a city-owned facility large enough for the necessary equipment, Ludlum said.

Ludlum it helps that staff and volunteers have experience from major floods in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

“Everyone’s getting good at it,” Ludlum said.

For those who are unable to sandbag, FirstLink also needs volunteers to run the volunteer hotline and registration tables, Miller said.

Volunteer information can be found at volunteerstatus.cityoffargo.com.

Miller said groups of five or more volunteers should call ahead to the FirstLink number, (701) 476-4000. Anyone with questions on volunteering may also call FirstLink.

Businesses interested in organizing a group of volunteers should call the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber at (218) 233-1100, Miller said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Charly Haley at (701) 235-7311