Volunteers aid Kimmswick sandbagging operation in hope of sparing town from flooding

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KIMMSWICK, MO (KPLR) - The worries of flooding continue in Kimmswick, as the community calls for volunteers to help sandbag.

In downtown Kimmswick, several shops, and the livelihood of many, sit dangerously close to the rising water.  Mayor Phil Stang hopes a makeshift levee volunteers constructed this past weekend will keep the city dry.  It was an expensive endeavor, but not as costly as a flood would be. The mayor explains, “A flood would be very, very expensive. And my primary charge here as mayor is to safeguard the lives and property of the residents and merchants.”

The Mississippi River is estimated to crest anywhere between 38 and 39 and a half feet Tuesday night, and that doesn’t account for rain forecasted later this week.  These levels could easily bring the water to the levee.

“It’s very personal,” says Stang, “I live 30 yards from here, so I’m the leading indicator of when we need to take action.”

Just down Windsor Harbor Lane, past the levee, the picturesque stables and pastures of Ride On St. Louis sit along the Mississippi River.  It’s an equine therapy non-profit that works with special needs kids and adults, and wounded warriors.

But their beautiful view comes at a cost.  A riding path is already flooded.  Now, it's a race against the coming crest to save everything from water damage.

Jeanne Johnson, bookkeeper for Ride On St. Louis, explains, “We have nine horses. They’re currently moved into Illinois. We moved all of our tack; we have most of our files moved.”

Fiber, purchased with a grant, is now piled high in their indoor arena, surrounded by sandbags.  If it gets wet, it’d cost $7,000 to replace.  “The fiber keeps the dust down, because with the handicapped, some of them can’t handle that much dust,” Johnson explains.

All day, dozens of volunteers of all ages filled sandbags that’ll be used to save the building from flooding.  Johnson adds, “It’s hard on them, but they come out and work. I guess you’d do anything for animals and the handicapped.”

If you’d like to help Ride On St. Louis continue to sandbag and protect their facility, they’re still looking for volunteers. Anyone willing to help should call Ride On St. Louis at 636-464-3408.