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Clarksville mayor pushing for portable flood defense system

CLARKSVILLE, Mo. – This could be a big weekend for Clarksville, Missouri where they’ve been battling flood waters. People there are hoping Saturday will offer a shot in the arm for a plan to end sandbagging, maybe forever.

Folks plan to give an elected official an earful on how to put a simple end to all the sandbagging. It’s proven successful in other cities around the world.

“This town seems to get hit with floods year after year after year,” said local teacher Jacob Rodger.

Clarksville has had more than its share of floods, each one requiring lots of volunteers, tons of sandbags and a bunch of money.

“You don’t put a million sandbags down easily,” Clarksville Mayor Jo Anne Smile said.

For 11 years, Mayor Smiley has tried to get $4 million from the federal and state governments to purchase a flood defense system. She said the system is portable, storable, and easily put in place. Cities in Europe and the US now use it.

“It’s important for them to see what it’s really like,” Smiley said.

This weekend, US Senator Roy Blunt is scheduled to see firsthand what Clarksville is up against. That mayor and locals plan to hit him up one more time for the cash for the flood defense system.

“Clarksville is missing out they need something that’s going to protect the town,” Rodgers said.

At least five businesses closed because of this flood. Michael Breault recently purchased a building which was saved from flood waters by sandbags. He believes the defense system would protect jobs and grow the economy.

“I think it’s an amazing idea,” he said. “If we keep getting flooded every year that’s going to make it really hard for us to try and do businesses.”

The mayor said purchasing the flood defense system would have been a lot cheaper than all the money spent on the nine floods since she’s been in office.

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