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National Guard solves flood problem

A National Guard member hands Josephanie Orno, an MSUM student, a cup to help fight the 2011 flood. MICHAEL SMITH / The Advocate


After many years of failing to figure out how to keep the mighty Red River at bay in the spring, the North Dakota National Guard has come up with a solution: shovels and Solo cups.

Spade shovels and red plastic Solo cups will be dispersed to all residents of Fargo and Moorhead. Half of the residents will be asked to use the shovels to dig the river deeper, while the other half will bail water into buckets, which will then be filtered and drunk.

Although some residents are skeptical, Fargo mayor Dennis Walaker defended the plan.

“We’ve got this under control,” he said. “Bailing water works in sinking boats, so it will work here. I read it on the Internet.”

There is a small chance the Solo cups won’t work, but nevertheless, local college students are awaiting the chance to get their free cups for beer pong and tippy cup.

“I just ran out of my red party cups,” said Joey Lefrees, a junior at MSUM. “Now I don’t have to go to the store to get more.
You could say this is a true ‘re-rack.’”

Whatever that means.

While the efficacy of bailing water remains to be seen, Walaker said digging the Red deeper will probably just keep people busy.

“If anything, it will build character,” Walaker said. “Like in the movie Holes, except Fargo won’t turn into a Girl Scout camp at the end. And there’s no treasure.”

Some concern has been raised over how volunteers will breathe while digging under water.

“Duh, hold your breath,” Walaker said.

Coordination of the effort is less than good. Betty Dufrense is the lead planner of the “dig out,” and said she’s been too busy.
“It doesn’t matter where you bail or dig,” she said. “I don’t care.”

Distribution will begin whenever the National Guard gets here, which will probably be later on.

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