Volunteers race against clock to save homes from flood
While most kids are spending winter break hanging with friends, 13-year-old Riley Armstrong has made other plans.
"I wanted to help out the community," says Riley.
He and a dozen other volunteers are filling sandbags to help protect homes from the rising water in Wickliffe, Kentucky.
"We put a lot of hard work into it," says Riley.
As the water continues to move closer to homes, volunteers are doing everything they can to help save them. They’ve already placed sand around one of the homes, creating a levy. Then they covered it with tarp and set sandbags on top to hold it down.
"In a community like this, we don’t have the staffing or the resources to do this kind of project so fast, and volunteers is what it takes to get the job done," says Travis Holder, director of emergency management in Ballard County.
Holder says earlier this week the Mississippi River was rising more than 3 feet a day. It has since slowed down, but not enough.
"We have to do what we can to get the sandbagging in place before the water gets to the residence," says Holder.
It’s already creeping up, creating puddles big enough to splash in.
While some of the other kids are playing around in the water, Riley focuses on getting the job done.
"Cause if you help, the Lord will give you help in return," says Riley.
The Mississippi River is forecasted to crest at 59 feet in Wickliffe on Monday. Holder says this flood won’t be as bad as the one in 2011, which crested at nearly 62 feet.