WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 10, 2013, 06:15 PM

Impressive tools helping fast paced production at Sandbag Central

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Sandbag Central is running way ahead of schedule with the goal of one million bags expected by Friday.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Sandbag Central is running way ahead of schedule with the goal of one million bags expected by Friday.

The fast work is pushed forward by improved technology, making volunteer efforts more efficient.

Here at Sandbag Central we started the day out with a total of 740,000 bags already filled, meaning the gap between that one million mark is quickly closing.

Since then, volunteers have been working hard, with the help of some fast-pace equipment.

The sandbags coming out of sandbag central are really starting to pile up. All made possible by the volunteers, eager to dig in.

Janet Wendel, Fargo: "You just have to help. You just have to be here."

Their hard work has helped create more than 100,000 bags daily, aside from Saturday.

Officer Matt Nelson, Fargo Fire Dept.: "Our schedule is really good. We're cautiously optimistic right now. Things have been going really well."

Wendel: "I'm celebrating my birthday, at the beach party."

As for volunteer Bailey Halland, the closest she'll get to a beach during her school's spring break is this big pile of sand.

Bailey Halland, Hawley 7th Grader: "I think it's mostly because everyone pitches in and helps and works together."

That and a smooth system, complete with three spider machines running simultaneously and a few extra tools on hand.

Compared to years past…

Nelson: "It's a very key element in our process."

Co McConn, Fargo 8th Grader: "You have to put the hook around the bag and press the trigger and it spins around it."

When you pull the trigger, these guns automatically seal the sandbags shut, working much faster than tying by hand.

Nelson: "You can tie a bag in a fraction of a second."

McConn: "It's fun to use."

All to get bags to the storage centers for flood prep. The piles filing this building, making up only about 15 percent of the total so far.

McConn: "It's a good feeling, a lot quicker than last year."

Halland: "I think we're going to get a good feeling after doing this."

Even if volunteers reach the one million bag mark, Sandbag Central will stay open until at least 2 on Friday afternoon. That's when the last group of students is scheduled to help out.