The city of Moorhead is using a mechanized approach to filling sandbags this year. The city had two custom-designed machines built to make the operation safer and more efficient.
Workers will no longer need to lift and carry each 30-50 pound bag of sand. Conveyor belts will load the bags into trucks.
Moorhead Mayor Mark Voxland said paid workers will run the machines.
"We can create sandbags very efficiently and very safely. We don't have machinery that's operating around volunteers that maybe aren't aware of the machinery operating," Voxland said. "We don't have to worry about somebody getting hurt and that's one of the concerns we had."
Volunteers will still be needed, the mayor said.
"One place we're going to need volunteers is to make the pallets," Voxland said. "The second one is the one everybody needs volunteers for, that's along the river making sandbag walls. So we have two times we're going to need volunteers. One starting next Tuesday and one whenever the river decides it wants to get nasty."
Moorhead expects to fill 1 million sandbags in 10 days. Across the Red River, Fargo is nearly half way to it's goal of 3 million sandbags.
Flooding is expected to hit the area in late March or early April.