In the bag: Volunteers finish sandbagging early in Cottage GroveA big turnout of volunteers helped to complete a sandbagging effort in Cottage Grove's River Acres neighborhood a day earlier than planned.
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
A big turnout of volunteers helped to complete a sandbagging effort in Cottage Grove's River Acres neighborhood a day earlier than planned.
Volunteers finished bagging sand and building a dike to protect River Acres resident Sharon Marcotte's home from the rising Mississippi River. Marcotte's back door is at 691 feet, the lowest elevation for a home in Cottage Grove. The river is lapping at the edge of her property, her home several feet above that.
Some 70 volunteers worked shifts since Thursday morning to fill nearly 8,000 sandbags and build the dike across Marcotte's backyard. It measures more than 5 feet at its highest point.
All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, to which Marcotte belongs, organized the volunteer sandbagging effort. Church members, Boy Scout troops, city officials, college students, friends and strangers helped out.
Marcotte said she appreciated the assistance and that people who did not even know her came out to help.
The dike will stay in place for several weeks, she said, in case there are multiple river crests.
"It'll stay up through April," she said. "I'm not going to take it down too early."
Some other River Acres residents continued sandbagging over the weekend, but at higher elevations did not need volunteer assistance.
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