Residents of Hardin, Illinois scrambling to save their town from floodwater

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HARDIN, Ill. – There’s a desperate plea from the people of Hardin, Illinois. They need help in fighting the flood waters. Sandbag operations have been going full tilt.

Parents and their children, citizens, all volunteers, have been working together for days.

“That’s why we live here. Anytime something happens in this county, somebody needs help, we come to the rescue,” said Eric Hagen, a local business owner and high school teacher.

The Illinois River was on the rise and predicted to reach its second highest crest ever. It’s been stressful for adults and kids.

“My cousin is in that house over there and it’s surrounded,” said Jacob Brannan, a child volunteer.

Homes are surrounded and volunteers are working to protect the fire department and the post office.

“There’s my aunt’s house,” said 10-year-old Grace Hurley. “It’s getting flooded. My dad’s business is getting flooded but since every person in the community is coming together, it’s all working out.”

The biggest threat is the Nutwood Levee. If it fails, the main route in and out of town will go under. People’s drive time to work and other communities will increase dramatically.

“For those of us who do our doctors’ visits and things in St. Louis, that adds three to four hours to our drive time,” said volunteer Toy Glynn.

Volunteers said they need prayers and a lot of help to protect the town they love.

“We really need help bad. We don’t have enough people to sandbags,” said Gene Breden, who was just elected head of the County Emergency Services Disaster Agency on Wednesday. “I’ve ordered sand to come in and bags and plastic but we don’t have enough people to fill all the sandbags.”

Breden said the river is coming up fast. Filling and placing the sandbags takes a long time. If you want to volunteer, you can enter town on Highway 16. You’re asked to bring shovels, gloves, and sunscreen.

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