Fridley property owners preparing for spring flooding can get 100 bags, ready for filling with sand, free of charge from the city government, Public Safety Director Don Abbott announced Friday.
It's part of Fridley's flood preparation program, in advance of what could be major or even record flooding in coming weeks.
The bags are available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.–3 p.m., at the Fridley Public Works Garage, 400 71st Ave. NE. (Fridley property owners requiring more than 100 bags can have them delivered, along with sand, for a fee.)
Property owners can fill the bags with sand the city provides at at sandbag-filling stations, Abbott said in a statement. (Shovels and gloves aren't provided so people filling bags should bring their own.)
Abbott cited National Weather Service forecasts of a 50–60 percent chance of floods on a par with those Fridley experienced in 1997, and a 10–20 percent chance of floods as bad as the record-high waters the city saw in 1965.
There is no current flood warning or advisory for Fridley. The city is not yet calling for volunteers, though it may coordinate volunteer efforts if floods are imminent, Abbott said.
The city also isn't advising residents to build levees now, he said; that is a decision for residents to make based on past experience and changing conditions.
Check the city's website for frequent flood updates and links to useful resources.
Measures taken since 1997, such as the elevation of Riverview Terrace, mean floods equal to that year's should be less cause for worry this year.
The Mississippi River and Rice Creek are the biggest flood threats in Fridley, though other creeks are sure to rise as well. At Monday's city council meeting, Mayor Scott Lund said he anticipates his own creek-facing backyard to experience high water this year.
City officials have also advised residents anticipating possible flooding on their properties to take time now to move valuables and heirlooms to a higher location within their homes.