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Published March 28, 2009, 12:00 AM

NDSU can help cope with flooding

If you are fighting floodwater or other disasters, the North Dakota State University Extension Service can help.

If you are fighting floodwater or other disasters, the North Dakota State University Extension Service can help.

The Extension Service has information online at http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/disaster/flood.html that can help people prepare their farms, ranches and homes for a flood and deal with this spring’s snow storms.

The site has information on topics such as sandbagging, basement water seepage, standby generators, sump pumps, protecting livestock, coping with stress and evacuation.

“This flood information Web page provides up-to-date, research-based information for homeowners, farmers, ranchers and anyone else who wants help in protecting themselves, their families and their property,” says Ken Hellevang, NDSU Extension agricultural engineer and flooding expert.

One of the most important steps is building your sandbag dike properly to provide maximum protection, according to Hellevang. Here are a couple of things you need to remember: Make sure the ground is clear of snow and ice before building your dike to prevent water seepage. Also make sure the base of the dike is twice as wide as the height.

For details on building a sandbag dike, see NDSU publication AE-626, “Sandbagging for Flood Protection.” It’s available at http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/ageng/safety/ae626.pdf. NDSU's flood information Web page also links to a video on the correct way to sandbag.

Hellevang also recommends that you have a pump to remove water that seeps through the dike. Because of the cooler temperatures, people need to monitor their pumps to make sure they don’t freeze.

Your local Extension Service office also can provide you with flood-fighting information.

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