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Volunteers start sandbagging in Cottage Grove

Sharon Marcotte and volunteer Michael Edman of Cottage Grove place sandbags on a dike in Marcotte's yard, which backs up to the Mississippi River. Bulletin photo by Scott Wente1 / 3
Volunteers Mike Kemper and Brian Zemke, both of Cottage Grove, pile sandbags onto a vehicle to be hauled to a dike at the River Acres Road home of Sharon Marcotte. Bulletin photo by Scott Wente2 / 3
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Flood preparations are under way in the River Acres neighborhood of Cottage Grove as volunteers sandbag around a flood-threatened home.

Volunteers started filling and placing sandbags Thursday morning at the River Acres Road home of Sharon Marcotte. The work is expected to continue through Sunday.

The sandbagging effort is being coordinated by All Saints Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, where Marcotte is a member. Some 40 volunteers - from Cottage Grove and elsewhere - have signed up for sandbagging shifts over four days, said the Rev. Bill Helker of All Saints Lutheran.

The city of Cottage Grove is dumping truckloads of sand in Marcotte's driveway. Volunteers fill sandbags, place them on vehicles to be moved to the back of Marcotte's home, which faces the river. A dike of roughly 7 feet high and 21 feet wide may be needed to keep floodwaters from Marcotte's home. The back door to the lower level of her home is at the lowest elevation in the entire city.

Marcotte said the flood planning has gone smooth this year and she was grateful for the volunteers turning out.

"I really appreciate it," she said. "There's no way I would do it by myself."

To schedule a shift or get more information on the sandbagging effort, contact the church at (651) 459-1117 or go to the website at

Stay with the Bulletin online for south Washington County flooding updates.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

(651) 459-7600