CLARKSVILLE, Mo. – Prisoners and volunteers spent Tuesday afternoon reinforcing sandbag levees in Clarksville, Missouri. Folks are preparing for another jump in the crest of the Mississippi River.
They’ve had to protect the US Post Office in Clarksville from floodwaters in the past. It’s closed now; people have to drive 10 miles north to mail a package. Mayor Jo Anne Smiley has been told if the post officer floods again, it will be closed forever.
“It would be very disconcerting to everybody in town, particularly to businesses that do a lot of shipping,” she said.
Inmates from the women’s prison in Vandalia worked side-by-side with volunteers from AmeriCorps to shore up the levee.
The levee was first put in place in mid-March but it needs to be raised and strengthened. Homes and businesses in the community were already surrounded by river water.
The town would like to purchase a portable flood defense system used by cities around the world.
Mayor Smiley said it’s easier and cheaper than sandbagging every time there’s a flood. She said there is a piece of legislation on Governor Mike Parson’s desk that includes funding for the flood defense system; they’re just waiting to find out if he’s going to sign it.
“He is considering (it). Every time you talk to someone who is close to the governor right now, he is considering,” Smiley said. “But he’s got a lot to deal with right now because the state of has got a lot of problems.”
She has hope he will sign the legislation.
Meanwhile, the city is asking for additional volunteers to help with sandbagging for Wednesday and Thursday. The city will provide lunch. If you’re interested, you should check in advance to see which roads are flooded before you head to Clarksville.