Clarksville knows what to do with sandbags after a flood

6:10 AM, May 30, 2013   |    comments
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By Heidi Glaus

CLARKSVILLE, Mo. (KSDK) - Much can be said about the quaint little town of Clarksville, Missouri, where artists, jewelry designers and antique dealers dot the streets of downtown. Unfortunately, most of what is said these days has to do with the rise of the mighty Mississippi river.

"This is a lot, this is too many times," says Mayor Jo Anne Smiley.

It's something she has had to deal with three times in her nine years as mayor.

"In 2010 we had advanced warning and we had utilized Metalith, which are metal bins. They're three feet wide, three feet tall and they're filled with sand," Mayor Smiley explains.

But most of the town is surrounded by sandbags.

"I think there's 500,000 sandbags that were ordered initially," she points out.

Something hundreds of volunteers rush to lend a helping hand with as water rises, however, when the water recedes there isn't that same flurry of activity.

"You know you can't ask 400 people to come now and take shovels and shovel it out. No, it doesn't work that way," Mayor Smiley says.

"Then who helps take down the wall," NewsChannel 5's Heidi Glaus asks.

"Oh, yes. You would like that answer would you? So would I. We'll have to utilize our back hoe and pick it up and put it in trucks to get it out of here," Mayor Smiley goes on to say.

This wasn't declared a disaster only a state emergency.

"We didn't lose anything, so when you don't lose anything and there's not a disaster, there's no reason for funding," she explains.

And one more thing you might not have realized, there are restrictions with the sandbags if they've come in contact with flood water.

"They can be used for fill, but you have to have an amount of soil on top of them," Mayor Smiley points out.

Of course all of this is a pain and rather pricey, but it will never be enough to drown the spirit of the people who call Clarksville home.

STORY: Clarksville braces for more flooding

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