The waters have gone down from the New Year's flooding in Alexander County, Illinois, but much of the damage remains. Many have the question of whether to start with the massive cleanup or wait on their minds.
It feels like a line drawn in the sand for Adam Thomas. With more than a foot of sand and flood debris covering much of his family's farm fields in Miller City, he says he's only just been able to get started cleaning up. But he says what he can get to before spring is a different story.
"Just some basic cleanup, start cleaning up some of the equipment, get some things moved out, clean up the shop," said Thomas.
For many in Alexander County, flood cleanup means more bleach and some extra paper towels. But for those who have sand sitting in their fields, the cleanup isn't so easy.
"Should we start making plans to start cleaning up? What to do?" Thomas asked. He says they're stuck, unsure about starting the cleanup in case there's another round of flooding.
Olivia Gordon is helping organize volunteers to help with cleanup in Alexander County by scrubbing away mold or removing any flood remains they can.
"We'll be collecting debris. You know, a lot of people have things in their homes that have been displaced. Things like insulation that needs to be taken out, things of that nature," said Gordon.
Gordon says they'll help where they can, but many in the area say it's not the debris that worries them.
"The damage, what we have now is catastrophic, but if you leave the hole in the levee, it's potentially going to be a whole lot worse," Thomas said.
He says they'll fix up what they can and pray for a dry spring.
If you want to help clean up flooded homes and areas, the Alexander County Flood Relief Committee is looking for volunteers. You can also contact them if you need help cleaning up following the flood.
For more information, or to find out how you can get involved, email email@example.com.
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