Mississippi River flooding keeping emergency responders busy in Lincoln County Missouri

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WINFIELD, Mo. - Flood crest predictions along the Mississippi River have been pushed back again for some communities. It’s impacting a lot more people than property and homeowners. It’s keeping emergency responders busy.

Jim Sharp has not had a day off in almost a month and he has been working long hours as Director of Emergency Management in Lincoln County.  He says it's worth it.

“We’re a public service agency. If we’re not available to our public in a time of need were really not doing much good,” said Sharp.

The river is now expected to crest at its fifth highest level ever next week. There’s not much more to do. They’ve already sandbagged, and it’s too late to do anything for the main levee that protects the community. Water began flowing over it weeks ago and now it has at least a 300-foot hole.

“I don’t it’s physically possible to sandbag that,” said Sharp.

People use boats to get to and from their homes. They cope with the frequent flooding and hope things get better. Denise Marshall lives in Winfield. She said, “I guess you can’t do much about it we can’t afford to move. But, it would be great if they quit building more levees.”

Jim Sharp said he’s looking to the future, getting prepared for dozens and possibly more than 100 homes that will need to be cleaned up after the water moves back into the Mississippi River banks. Sharp said, “We’ve started reaching out to some groups that kind of do that, philanthropic organizations community organizations, who can provide us with the volunteer manpower.”

Sharp says the water is predicted to start dropping from major flood stage to moderate on June 4th. More rain could push it higher again. Towns along the river have a long way to go before this is all over.

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