PORTAGE DES SIOUX, Mo. – A flood victim took a Fox 2/KPLR 11 news crew on a tour of the flood damage done to all of the family properties in Portage Des Sioux.
Andy Dallwitz, 38, said he’s lived in the community all his life.
“The toughest thing is moving the wife and the kids out and seeing everybody lose all their belongings,” he said.
Dallwitz said the floods seem to be getting worse.
“More frequent and higher,” he said.
Dallwitz recently remodeled his home. It’s now underwater. The same is true for his nephew’s residence. The family owns the Longshot Saloon. There were four feet of the Mississippi River inside and no customers.
“There’s no income, nobody’s buying beer,” Dallwitz said.
His boat repair company was also closed. He said he employs as many as 40 people throughout the year at all the different businesses. Not one of them is making any money now.
“With the recent floods, it’s hard to keep these places,” Dallwitz said.
Dallwitz said he knows people should expect floods when they live along a river. He believes the government has been making matters worse by building levees and getting rid of flood plains which he said makes flooding worse for others downstream.
“I think the whole St Charles County should be a federal disaster. It’s not a natural disaster, it’s a government disaster,” he said.
The declaration would allow him and others to receive low-interest loans from the government. He could reopen his businesses and bring people back to work.
Not far away in O’Fallon, Missouri, volunteers were sandbagging a leaking levee. The levee protects the Cherokee Lakes campground along Highway 79. Sixty-nine RVs and the families that own them have evacuated. People are trying to save buildings on the property as well as another business. They are asking that more volunteers lend them a hand.
If you’d like to volunteer with sandbagging efforts at the campground, please call 636-978-2147.