WILLMAR - Working quickly as a cold rain fell Thursday afternoon, Candido Zelaya filled sandbags and loaded them in the back of his car.
He's going to use the 50-pound bags around his southwest Willmar house where water from recent rains and melting snow has caused minor flooding in his basement.
"There's a lot of water going in," said Zelaya, who's hoping the sandbags will prevent more water from coming in as the spring thaw continues.
Zelaya isn't alone.
After receiving a number of calls from residents looking for sand and hearing that sandbags were apparently not available at local stores, Kandiyohi County Emergency Management Director Kim Lindahl said the county Public Works Department brought a pile of sand to the Willmar Community Center and Lindahl delivered two garbage cans containing sandbags.
They put out the word that the sand and bags are available for county residents while supplies last.
All people had to do was bring a shovel and be careful not to fill the bags too full in order to avoid an injury, Lindahl said.
There are no widespread flooding issues in the county. Lindahl said the calls pertained to isolated incidents around residential and commercial properties. People were seeking information about where to get sand and bags, Lindahl said.
It's hoped the flooding will be "short-lived," she said.
Kandiyohi County Public Works Director Mel Odens said the $60 it cost for the 11 yards of sand was a gesture of "goodwill" that would "help people who need a couple sandbags."
"We thought we'd make available to the residents so they don't have to go look for sand," Lindahl said. "We wanted to make it more convenient for residents."
The sand and bags are available in the rear parking lot of the Willmar Community Center, 624 Highway 71 N.E., while supplies last.
For additional information, call the Emergency Management Office at 320-235-5133, extension 3804. Additional information about flood preparation is available at www.kcmn.us/em.