WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 22, 2011, 11:56 AM

Oslo Reinforcing Earthen Levee with Thousands of Sandbags

The city of Oslo, MN, is adding sandbags to its earthen levee as wind is pushing water onto it and causing portions to start to erode.

The little town of Oslo has already dealt with being surrounded by water for almost 2 weeks.

Now, erosion on an earthen levee is causing worry for those living in town.

Volunteers from communities all around Oslo came in to help sandbag the levee which is damaged by high winds.

With each sandbag...with each helping hand.... A community comes together to save an earthen levee damaged by the Raging Red River.

"Last night we had a high wind from the Southeast that was lapping at the dike and we noticed some erosion there yesterday." Oslo Mayor Scott Kosmatka said.

After weeks of patrolling dikes, sandbagging around homes and being cut off from surrounding areas. The people of Oslo are ready for rising waters to fall.

"It's just one more thing on top of the fire, just a little more fuel on top of the fire. It's been long enough, a long duration with a week and a half now of being cut off." Kosmatka said.

Volunteers behind me have been working since 10 this morning laying down almost 15-thousand sandbags to try and save the dike before any more damage is done.

"You know it's a concern when it starts making holes in the dike and it's big chunks that are starting to erode so we made the call to several different fire departments and got a lot of response from all of them." Marshall County Deputy Sheriff Jason Boman said.

Volunteers sandbagging almost a half a mile section of the earthen levee in hopes to keep it intact.

"We went from here back to the railroad tracks back there so it's quite a ways they're trying to cover up." Argyle Firefighter Garred Conway said.

With the help of neighboring communities, people in Oslo hope all their hard work today will pay off.

"We've never had to sandbag our dike actually, we've been out sandbagging residents before but never had to sandbag the towns dike." Boman said.

"We really appreciate everything that everyone does for us. You put out the call and all of our friends and neighbors come out to help, it's just great." Kosmatka said.

With all the help Oslo finished shoring up the earthen levee today; and hope it will stand up to high waters for the next couple weeks.