JUNE 13, 2011 -- The call is going out for volunteers to assist with potential flooding in the Sibley-Levasy area. Fifty volunteers are being sought to fill and move sandbags this Thursday (June 16) as flooding in the area along the Missouri River becomes increasingly probable due to the release of water from the Gavins Point Dam in Yankton, South Dakota. Those interested in volunteering should call the Independence Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) at (816) 806-9559 for more details.
Volunteers should report Thursday prepared for the weather and work conditions, bringing with them gloves, sun block, bug spray (access to the Missouri River levee is via tall grass), heavy-duty boots and hats. They should have the ability to lift 40-pound sandbags. Food and water will be provided.
There will be limited clerical work involved for signing in and out all volunteers, with the sandbagging likely to commence at noon. Those unable to volunteer Thursday may be able to help at a later date.
Jackson County Emergency Preparedness Director Mike Curry pointed out that Tuesday (June 14) the Army Corps of Engineers will begin releasing 150,000 cubic feet of water per second from the Gavins Point Dam.
"There's a lot of water coming this way," said Curry. "They've been having historic levels of rain in South Dakota. We also have the run-off of melting snow in the Rocky Mountains."
The Army Corps of Engineers at Gavins Point Dam has been releasing water for several days, gradually working toward reaching that 150,000 cubic feet per second rate. Curry described the potential flooding down river from the Gavins Point Dam as "that rare emergency in which we will have considerable lead time to be prepared for."
The release of water from the Gavins Point Dam is expected to continue from 30 to 60 days.