Volunteers needed for sandbagging in St. Mary, MO

ST. MARY, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

There is an urgent need for sandbagging volunteers in St. Mary, Missouri to help keep the Mississippi River from spilling into their town.

Residents of St. Mary have been working together all week in hopes of protecting homes and businesses.

Including one man who is desperately trying to get sandbags up as water starts to fill his home.

Nathan Ridings says he and his neighbor worked all night trying to get the sandbags up as the water came in.

His basement took in about five feet of water, and is having to pump it out into his backyard.

Even with these rising waters Ridings says he’s not moving.

“We’re working. We’re not scared of it. We’d love some more volunteers if anybody could help – that’s about it. There’s nothing we can do but fight against it. It’s not going to run us off. We’re going to keep building, and keep trying. We don’t want the city to die,” Ridings said.

Ridings and his friends used a truck to get in the water, and sandbag the side of the house they can’t access.

Down the road volunteers set up sandbagging efforts near City Hall.

Emergency Management Director Felix Meyer said St. Mary needs all the help it can get.

With high water levels, they are still expected to reach 45 feet by Saturday, May 6.

Volunteers have been working tirelessly filling sandbags, and taking them to homes and businesses where the water is getting too close for comfort.

Right now is when they need help the most.

Amy Doll with The St. Mary Fire Department says it’s hard to see St. Mary this way.

“It’s a lot of devastation. I mean, as you can see – it’s – if we lose what we’ve got St. Mary won’t be here no more. Considering I’ve been here all my life, moved away and come back – it’s not cool. It’s one of those things. What can you do? All we can do is be down here and help sandbag,” Doll said.

With much of St. Mary seeing high water, the road to Kaskaskia Island became unpassible.

The only way to get over to the island is by boat.

The Army Corps of Engineers are taking small groups of people over as needed through the flood.

On Kaskaskia Island residents are concerned about the stability of their levy.

Volunteers were out sandbagging and monitoring it.

One resident tells me any help they can get would mean a lot.

“I don’t know – we had fourteen inches of rain. Very unusual. So, I don’t know what to think about it. It’s supposed to be a hundred year flood, but we’re having them every two years, so I don’t know. It would mean the world to us. We gotta save this levy. This is where we live. It’s where we make our money farming. We gotta save it,” resident Derek Klein said.

Volunteers who live on the island came out to help, and some came by boat.

A representative from The Army Corps of Engineers says the road to the island may not be usable until Wednesday.

The chief of police in St. Mary released a statement on Facebook asking for the public’s help.

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