Southern Illinois community fighting flooding

The people of Grand Tower, Illinois, are working hard to keep their community afloat.

They’re facing flooding from both sides, with massive flooding on its way downriver from the Mississippi while the Big Muddy nearby oozes over.  With much of the area underwater and more predicted to come their way, dozens of volunteers around town spent the day prepping for flooding.

Scoop here, drop there. Volunteers like Phillip Glodo could make sandbags with their eyes closed.

"I’ve been helping do this the whole time I’ve lived down here. I’ve lived down here my whole life," said Phillip Glodo, a Grand Tower resident.

And with flood prep, there’s just one goal.

"Yeah, trying to keep everything dry," he said.

Phillip is one of the many people who call Grand Tower home preparing for flooding, said Fire Chief Dennis Wright.

"We have a slide on the levee, and we need to get some plastic and bags on it to try and hold it the night or whenever," said Wright.

The mayor of Grand Tower says they’re building up blockades around the bluffs surrounding Devil’s Backbone park and campground to make sure the water creeping up their way doesn’t get any further into town. They say they’re making them even higher than they were for the flood of 1993.

"Between the bluffs here we’re going to put a 6 foot wall there," said Mayor Mike Ellet. He said the flood blockades the town put up for the record flooding in ’93 were just four feet high.

The town is preparing for the worst, bracing for what the mighty Mississippi may bring. Ellet says they’re asking for voluntary evacuations and help from anyone choosing to stay behind.

"If the levee breaks, all of our homes go. So everybody needs to pitch in. Anybody that doesn’t live here can come help out, too." Glodo said.

He says they need all the help they can get.

Grand Tower will be holding a meeting Monday night at 7 p.m. to talk about evacuations and how volunteers can help with flood prep. That will be held at the City Hall building in town.

Anyone wishing to help should contact Jackson County Emergency Management.

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