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Associated Press, Published April 10 2013

Sandbag truckers chip in to buy lunch for workers

FARGO — Truck drivers who have been hauling sandbags around Fargo in preparation for spring flooding chipped in to buy lunch Wednesday for hundreds of volunteers, most of them middle school students.

The group raised $800 to buy pizza for people who filled bags at a city storage facility dubbed Sandbag Central. The city expects in the next few days to wrap up a 10-day campaign to fill a million sandbags.

The donations included a $400 match by Dean Mertz, the general manager of Reile's Transfer and Delivery.

"It felt right," Mertz said Wednesday from Sandbag Central. "We're here every day with the transportation of the sandbags and you see all these volunteers who are doing what they can to try and save the city. It is hard work."

One of the volunteers, Dan Johnston, said he needed to recharge after working the morning.

"When you have independent trucker drivers taking up a collection ... that's a darn nice thing to do," Johnston said.

The National Weather Service gives a 50 percent chance of the Red River reaching 38 feet, which would be the fifth highest flood of all time in the area and the fourth major flood in five years for Fargo and neighboring Moorhead, Minn.

Four junior high students from Hawley, Minn., drove 25 miles on their spring break to help fill sandbags. Katie Boucher, Jordyn Schenck, Aeriana Softing and Bailey Halland said they were happy to help their neighboring community.

The pizza was a bonus, Boucher said. "And really good," she added.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.