Sandbagging effort in Foley hoping to save farms and homes

FOLEY, Mo. – A voluntary evacuation order is in place for residents east of Highway 79 in Foley and Winfield as the Mississippi River is expected to crest soon.

“Right now, we’re looking at the third highest river level ever,” said Winfield Foley Fire Protection District Assistant Chief Arron Lee.

The chief said by the time the river crests, only 2008 and 1993 water levels will be higher.

The flooding threat has triggered an overwhelming response from volunteers.

“We have people from Winfield, from O’Fallon, and surrounding areas that are here that don’t even know anybody from around here,” said Lee. “It’s really great to see everybody out here.”

James Parrott drove to Winfield from Troy to help.

“I do this all the time,” he said. “Volunteering helps lift everyone’s spirits.”

Kristen Martinez lives in Winfield and was filling sandbags with her family, even as rain started to fall Friday night.

“We’re saving lives and homes and we just want to do whatever we can to help people and be here for them whatever they need.”

The Mississippi River is expected to crest in Winfield either Saturday night or Sunday morning. The Winfield Foley Fire Protection District is posting updates, including volunteer information, on its Facebook page.

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