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St. Olaf volunteers fight local flooding

By David Gonnerman '90
September 24, 2010

Anton Armstrong '78, conductor of the St. Olaf Choir and downtown Northfield resident, was one of many St. Olaf students and employees who helped sandbag Northfield businesses September 24.

Widespread flooding by the Cannon River caused the City of Northfield to declare a state of emergency September 24. The subsequent call for volunteers resulted in St. Olaf students and employees assisting in efforts to sandbag threatened areas.

After the river crested that evening, city officials stated that -- unless conditions were to worsen -- the immediate need for additional volunteers had passed. Students were notified that they will be contacted if further assistance is deemed necessary for cleanup efforts (such as helping free fish that were trapped by the flood).

"A great big thanks goes out to all who so quickly answered the call to sandbag and perform other critical tasks to safeguard the people and businesses along the Cannon River today," wrote Dean of Students Greg Kneser in a message to the St. Olaf community Friday night. "It was great to see an army of St. Olaf and Carleton students working alongside local residents to protect this town that we share and call home.

"I don't think I've ever been more proud of my college and my town," Kneser declared.

For a summary of flood-related news, opportunities to help clean up after the flood, and more visit

Contact David Gonnerman at 507-786-3315 or