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West central Minnesota volunteers answer call to fight Red River flood

Update 12:05 p.m.

By bus and by car, volunteers from west central Minnesota made their way to the Fargo-Moorhead area on Tuesday to help with the flood fight.

Peterson Bus Service, New London, sent two buses on their way to the Fargo, N.D. and Moorhead area on Tuesday morning.

And, it has plans ready to send a bus from Willmar on Wednesday morning.

Mike Nelson, with Peterson Bus, said groups from both Spicer and Paynesville left early Tuesday morning to pitch sandbags through the day. They were planning to ride the red eye special back Tuesday night after a day's hard work.

Those who want to volunteers are also welcome to join a bus department from the east parking lot of Ridgewater College at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, he said.

Jesse Gislason said he and a friend were originally planning to devote two days to sandbagging and helping friends of theirs in Fargo. They decided instead to see if they could recruit some additional help. They contacted Peterson Bus Service and found businesses to sponsor the bus they led to Fargo on Tuesday.

In relatively short order, Gislason said they were able to recruit 30 volunteers. They were filling sandbags in West Fargo when reached by cell phone shortly before noon on Tuesday. Gislason said the sun was shining and the volunteers were working in long-sleeved T-shirts, but the forecast called for rains returning Tuesday evening.

Barb Levin, a youth coordinator at Nordland Lutheran Church, Paynesville, organized volunteers from the Paynesville area with the same goal of helping out. They were on the road around 4:30 a.m.

The organized bus tours are not the only way volunteers are getting to the Red River to help out.

Members of the Willmar Civil Air Patrol, Wesota Composite Squadron, hit the road early Tuesday morning in personal vehicles with intentions of devoting the day to helping sandbag or providing help as needed. Lt. Col. Linda Dilley and Lt. Col. Major Ruth Hoffman led four cadets on the trip to Moorhead.