Help requested for sandbagging operation just north of Grand Pass in Saline County
GRAND PASS, Mo. — Communities are coming together across northwest Missouri to fight off flood waters which threaten to break through levees and inundate farm land just when some farmers think its high time to start planting.
Just north of Grand Pass, only steps away from the Missouri River, volunteer Steve Boland operates a fork lift, lifting pallets piled high with sand bags onto a truck bed. He’s been up helping out with the sandbagging operation since early this morning, after calling it quits only hours before.
“Well, they had some water running over and through the levee back there in one spot,” Boland explained. “So we bagged ’till, I don’t know, about 2:00 in the morning last night. We got the stockpile, we have more sand coming in, and the bagging machine will be back at 1:00 today from the corps, so we can bag more, and hopefully we can hold everything.”
Boland said that members of the community joined volunteers and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Monday afternoon.
Thousands of sandbags have already been filled, some of which are already being used to reinforce the levee. A total of six truck loads of sand were used to fill bags Monday, and a single load was bagged Saturday in addition to three loads bagged by volunteers and the Corps on Sunday.
“I think its a couple thousand bags per load or so,” Boland explained.
The Corps, Boland explained, brings a special ‘bagging machine’ when it is on the job, and that machine is set to arrive again at 1:00 Tuesday afternoon.
“We could use all the volunteers we could get at probably 1:00 today when the machine gets here for filling bags.”
Boland said that while there is still an immediate risk of flooding, volunteers are already thinking about what to do in the event the river rises again.
“We’ve got this stockpile here, but we’re going to go ahead and bag as much as we can while we’re going in case something does come back up,” Boland said.
The National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill says the Missouri River at Waverly crested early Tuesday morning at 31.6 feet, a level that does break the record set during the Great Flood of 1993.
The sandbagging operation is happening just off of Highway T in Saline County, north of Grand Pass.
Photos: KMZU’s Brian Lock