Sandbagging efforts continue in McClure, more help is needed

Urgent call for volunteers to sandbag in McClure

MCCLURE, Ill. (KFVS) - Alexander County Officials have asked for help in McClure, Illinois to help with sandbagging homes and businesses.

"We're losing the battle," McClure Volunteer Coordinator James Myers said.

“When they have bodies on the ground that show up. You’ll put goosebumps on the backs of these old men who have never seen their house to this level,” said Spark Ministries’ Pastor, Aaron Boyd.

Boyd’s never seen the water this high surrounding homes.

“When you put your actual five-eleven body in that thing. Its up to your chest. That’s not an exaggeration. Its literally up to your chest,” he said. “There’s people that are working with us literally sandbagging with us who have destroyed homes. They’re not saving their houses. They’re gone.”

He’s talking about people like Steve Parker.

“It bothers me, but I show that it doesn’t, to help them, to encourage them to keep going, to where we can save them from having happen to them what happened to me," said Parker, a McClure resident.

While volunteering and sandbagging, Parker’s dealing with the emotions of seeing his ruined home for the first time in weeks.

“It blew my mind. It’s like man that’s a lot of water. Just thinking all the memories there. You’re picking pieces up here, there down the road, I mean in the middle of the highway. It almost makes you want to throw up a little bit," he said.

“We are in dire need to finish this stuff. If we could get one good wave of just a massive flow of action, we could settle this whole thing. And what we can save what we can do, could be done in one day," said Boyd.

On Sunday, June 30, they had a couple dozen show up. However, more is needed as they are spread thin trying to save many structures across the town and surrounding area.

Myers said it's important that they get more help from volunteers.

“It’s critical!" Myers stated. "There’s water in houses. There’s houses where it’s inching up slowly so they’re watching it come. They are watching it but they can’t stop it.”

Myers urges more people to come out and help with the sandbagging efforts. He said they need upwards of roughly 75 people each day to combat this flooding crisis.

"Right now, we don't have enough volunteers to spread out and do the whole situation," Myers stated. "We are having to focus on one area at a time and work our way through. It's hard because you have 15-20 volunteers; how do you tell these people that their house is more important than the people down the street?"

He said they will need more than just a couple of days for help though. He added that even when the floodwaters recede, they will still have a massive mess to clean up.

"It's just starting for volunteers," Myers continued. "All these sandbags that we're throwing, they don't clean themselves up. The logs, they don't pull themselves off the roads and out of the yards. We are going to need people to dump trash cans and fill up dumpsters. This is going to be all summer. Welcome to summer."

For more information on how you can help, you can call Dale with the Alexander County Emergency Management Agency at 618-697-9311, McClure Volunteer Coordinator James Myers at 573-270-4680 or the Emergency Operations Center at 618-306-1375.

This water is 6 inches deep and rising! The road is still open and this is the only way that East Cape Girardeau, IL residents have to go to get to the store, get food or any other items. Flooding has already crept up on all sides which technically makes them an island.

Posted by Mike Mohundro KFVS on Saturday, June 29, 2019

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