MOORHEAD, Minn. -- The landscape in northern Minnesota is quickly returning to normal, thanks to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - St. Paul District.
Local contractors, under the Corps' direction, have worked steadily over the past couple of weeks to remove temporary flood protection measures - in the form of sandbags and clay dikes - from public property along the Red River. In fact, contract workers have completed most of the job ahead of schedule, according to Corps' officials.
As of Friday, May 15, workers collected more than 1.25 million sandbags from the curbs of private residences in Moorhead City, 29 days ahead of the contracted end date. Workers also removed all eight miles of clay dikes in Moorhead 13 days ahead of schedule despite the rain. Corps' contractors are cleaning the streets and expect to be done today or tomorrow.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency tasked the Corps to carry out the project and will fund 75 percent of eligible costs. The state will pick up the tab for the remaining 25 percent. Communities can choose whether they want to remove the sandbags and clay dikes themselves, get technical contracting advice from the Corps or turn the entire project over to the Corps.
Now that the Moorhead work is finished, the contractors are focusing attention to greater Clay County and other counties along the river.
In Oakport, the Corps contracted to remove about 460,000 bags as part of a county-area contract. This work is expected to be complete by tonight or tomorrow morning.
Next week, contract workers plan to begin removing temporary clay dikes from other areas of Clay County, a task they hope to complete quickly. As the clay dikes dry out, they become less stable.
In Georgetown, workers began removing approximately 12,000 sandbags on Monday and expect to complete the job mid-week.
On Monday, contractors removed approximately 1,500 sandbags in Hawley.
Last Wednesday, work began to remove about 90,000 sandbags in Breckenridge and Wolverton under a Corps contract. That portion of work is expected to be complete this week.
Kittson & Polk Counties
The Corps awarded a contract last Friday to remove sandbags from Kittson and Polk counties. Work began on Monday, May 18 in Climax, Minn.
The Corps awarded a contract for sandbag removal for Norman County today. This work is expected to take a week beginning at the end of this week.
Clay levees will be removed in Marshall County as part of one contract to be awarded soon that includes Clay, Kittson, Marshall, Norman Polk and Wilkin counties but excludes Moorhead. Work schedules will be developed as areas are completed.
Traverse County will do all removal work on its own.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.