With the national attention focused on Clarksville in regards to the Mississippi River flooding, the effort to minimize the damage to Lincoln County fields and communities was conducted.
For days, prisoners from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department assisted other volunteers sandbagging levees in and around Foley off Burr Oak Road, said Jerry Daugherty, emergency management director of Lincoln County. He added the river was expected to crest in Lincoln County at 33.7 feet. Old Monroe officials said Wednesday that the pumps were keeping the Cuivre River and Mississippi river backups from the majority of the residents. Daugherty said there had been no evacuations to date. Farmers in the river bottoms were bracing for their second straight year of drop damage.
Clarksville residents went into high gear to battle the Flood of 2014 after the city’s Board of Aldermen voted against funding to fight rising waters, fearing it would bankrupt the historic community. Front Street merchants and others banded together to build several flood walls and save the businesses and some homes in historic downtown Clarksville. By July 8, the makeshift walls of sand, plastic and rock were holding. Pumps were sending water out of some basements as the Mississippi River rose.
On July 7, prisoners from the Northeast Correctional Center in Bowling Green arrived to place sandbags around the CBC Bank, which was getting surrounded by the swollen waters of the Town Branch.
An emergency response crew from Americorps in St. Louis had shown up earlier in the week to help with the effort downtown.
If not for the wall, the rising waters would have come through the front doors of the business by July 3.
The river was expected to crest at Clarksville at 35.2 feet by Thursday morning, July 10, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). That’s more than 20 feet above flood stage and just below the high water mark of 35.3 feet reached on April 22, 2013. Hwy. 79 was closed on the north and south ends of Clarksville as were sections of Hwy. W.
Portions of this story courtesy of The Louisiana-Press Journal.