Employees Support Red River Flood Relief Work

March 17, 2010

FARGO, ND – Nearly half of the 100 employees at Fargo Jet Center (FJC) in Fargo, ND are volunteering this week to sandbag the banks of the rapidly rising Red River. River levels in Fargo are forecast to rise as high as 39 feet by this weekend, well over the city’s “major flood” stage of 30 feet.

“Volunteerism is being part of the community,” said Darren Hall, FJC Vice President for Marketing. “Stepping up in a time of need.”

Many FJC employees are helping sandbag river banks in the evenings, after work. Others are taking advantage of the company’s policy allowing such volunteering whenever workload permits.

In parts of endangered residential areas, long lines of volunteers stretch from the pallets of sandbags to the line where the sandbag walls are being built. FJC volunteers Mandi Hagen, Jessica Richard, Darren Hall and Kari Flaagan (pictured) were part of a 100 person line on Tuesday, rhythmically tossing sandbags down the row. Some lines, Hall said, can be nearly 1,000 people.

Also as part of the Fargo flood relief effort, FJC is supporting military aircraft, including a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research aircraft to help monitor flood conditions, and a North Dakota Army Guard Blackhawk helicopter providing local and state officials an overview of the disaster. All military aircraft are receiving FJC services identical to those provided business airplanes that frequent Fargo.

“And our flight school supports the media as they try to accurately report this,” added Hall. “You can only see some of what’s happening from ground level, so we use our flight school’s Cessna 172s to give them a perspective only general aviation can provide.”

This year’s flooding in Fargo was exacerbated by unusually heavy rains in November, followed by large amounts of heavy, very wet snow in January and February.