Smithland works together preparing sandbags near riverfront at lock and dam

Crews came out to homemade food that included fried chicken, cornbread and potato soup.

SMITHLAND, KY– The city of Smithland is getting more volunteers to help with sandbagging as river levels rise. With a population of about 300 people, all hands are on deck.

“We’ve got the Corps of Engineers, we’ve got the state of emergency, and our county people are helping,” Smithland Mayor Bill Hesser said. “We’re all pitching in and getting everything ready to go.”

The small town of Smithland takes that call to action seriously, with one local church firing up the stove to help feed all those workers.

“I’m just not sure they can get through a flood without my honey bun cake,” said Cindy Layne, church mother and cook at Soul Harbor Holiness Church.

Katelynn Jackson and Irelynn Burn came to help cook with their mother from Ledbetter.

The church gives free food to anyone who walks through their doors. Cindy, her husband and other volunteers cooked for hundreds of people for 21 days during severe flooding in 2011.

“We appreciate everybody that comes in to help, and to be honest, it’s a great joy to begin to be able to be a part of,” said Layne.

The mayor said for now the city is continuing to stack sandbags near the riverfront.

“It depends on how much more rain we get here or how much more upstream is what we’re waiting to see,” said Hesser.

As of this report, projections for the Ohio River near the Smithland Lock and Dam are at 52.5 feet, according to the National Weather Service.

Cindy says as long as they’re still stacking, she’s still cooking.

“This is what makes it work. This is what makes it fit together, said Layne. “They come in to eat, they rest, they go back to work.”

You can donate to the church to help them feed the crew members by dropping off supplies to 306 Wilson Ave. at Souls Harbor Holiness Church.

Here’s a list of items they need:

— 10 pound roll of ground beef
— 10 pound bag of chicken legs and thighs
— A gallon of green beans
— Eggs
— Milk
–Large tea bags
— Chili beans
— Black beans
— Chili seasoning
— Cake mixes
— Vegetable oil
— Onions
— Plastic plates and utensils
— Hot dogs and buns
— Crackers
— Shredded cheese
— Bacon