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By Crystal Howerton
Knox County and Edina Emergency Management Directors recently contacted SEMA (State Emergency Management Agency) requesting sandbags to protect low lying areas around Edina and in Knox County.
Knox County Emergency Management Director Jim Robertson received 22,200 sandbags from the Army Choir of Engineers, which he took delivery of on June 26, 2008 at the Quincy National Guard Armory. The sandbags were unloaded at the Farm & Home warehouse in Edina the following morning by Knox Co. Emergency Management Director Jim Robertson, Edina Co-Emergency Management Directors Roger Waibel and Brian Banks, Farm & Home owner Tony Marble and employee Brian Mason, and Kelly Hayes, Edina Police Department.
While the majority of the sandbags have been stored at Farm & Home, a backup supply of 2,500 sandbags is being stored at the Edina City Hall.
“In response to excessive rains and flooding of streams around the County and multiple road closings,” said Waibel, “we plan to be prepared in the event of a flood emergency. Because Farm & Home has been flooded in past, levels inside exceeding 5 foot back in May 2002, we chose this location, it likely being the first to be threatened by high water.”
They have yet to obtain any sand, which can also be acquired through SEMA or in small amounts at the Knox County Stone Company. “We are working with Edina Superintendent of Utilities Mike Wriedt to stockpile any sand at the City Barn,” added Waibel.
According to Waibel, the Knights of Columbus Hall in Edina is wired and set-up for an emergency shelter, in addition to two churches, the First Christian Church of Edina and the Edina Assembly of God Church, which are on board for Red Cross relief.