Volunteers flock to Stillwater to begin sandbagging effort

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Stillwater officials barely had to ask for help as four days-worth of volunteers slots were filled in two hours with people hoping to help sandbag.

Some 50,000 sandbags are the goal by the end of Tuesday that crews hope to use to build a top layer of a 2,000-foot flood wall that is under construction along the St. Croix River.

The concrete wall will be set in place first along with truckloads of sand that will go on top of it.

“Yes, we have a good feeling,” said Chief John Gannaway, of the Stillwater Police Department. “We have lot of people who have a lot of good experience dealing with this.”

The highest recorded flood in Stillwater was in 1965 where water reached 694 feet above sea level, which is the height crews are building to now.

The flood forecast suggests it’s unlikely they will get there, but there is a 50 percent chance waters will get to a level three feet below that.

“We would really prefer not to make history,” Gannaway added. “A lot of people would brag about it. We don’t want to brag about it at all.”

The hard work on the ground Thursday is padded with some breathing room, however, as the crest of the flood is still about three weeks away. There is still much unknown about the melting yet to happen.