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Published April 26, 2013, 10:18 PM

Pembina area students answer flood fighting call

Up and down the Red River Valley, towns are taking precautions to prepare against the oncoming flood. The Pembina - Neche area has taken the first steps to tackle what National Weather Service says could be record-setting flooding.

By: Victor Correa, WDAZ

Up and down the Red River Valley, towns are taking precautions to prepare against the oncoming flood. The Pembina - Neche area has taken the first steps to tackle what National Weather Service says could be record-setting flooding.

Students in the Pembina county school district were the first ones to lend a hand in protecting their community. They spent two hours today filling sandbags as they expect to see flood levels rise next week.

Brandon: "Yeah we're just out here saving lives, one sandbag at a time."

Brandon Anderson isn't the only student excited to help out the community.

Keaton: It's good, i mean, in '97 we got really devastated, so, i mean it comes around almost every year, so it's good to save the town."

Tiffany: "I think it's really good how the students can come together and volunteer as well as we do."

Most of the students have been coming to Neche, North Dakota's sandbag central for years, putting in hours and labor to keep their town dry against the Pembina river.

Madison: "If it helps the community -- why not!?"

Students, teachers, principals and even the mayor are all getting down in the sand for when the water levels are up. Over the past few years the area has seen water levels reach around 21 feet, which is the expected level early next week.

Lee Beattie, Neche Mayor: "The biggest impact might be on highway 18 and if it does get to be too much and they shut that down and we're landlocked and we can't get anywhere."

The group of students completed an estimated 6,000 sand bags but only some of those will stay in town. Others will go to outlying areas.

Lee: "We stock pile it for those that need it, whether it's around their home or maybe somebody out in the country who needs a few, we look to help them out too."

The Mayor said the students look forward to helping with the sandbags every year.

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