Along the Mississippi, while some are preparing for the possibility of more water on the way, others are trying to pick up the pieces.
For some, it’s a small victory in Dallas City, Illinois. Sandbag walls successfully protected several homes. But for other residents, sandbagging wasn’t enough to keep the flood waters at bay.
“We’ve been through the 1993 flood, the ’08 flood, we’ve been through the ’14 flood, and now the ’19 flood and up until now we’ve been able to win all the battles, but now we’re not so lucky,” said Dallas City, Illinois resident Rich Howe.
Howe said his friends and family tried their hardest to save his home, but when water started coming in fast, filling their basement, he told everyone to stop and cut the power for their own safety.
“All of a sudden, I have guys back here building up the wall in the back yard because the river is still coming up, and all of a sudden we have a tremendous amount of water coming through,” said Howe.
While some of Howe’s neighbors are still willing to put up a fight with the river, for him, this flood is the last straw.
“We’ll never come back to this house here, we’re done,” said How, adding that as he and his wife have gotten older, it’s become harder to deal with setting up the walls and sandbagging, “we don’t need the stress, we just can’t handle the stress, or the physical amount of work that comes with this so we’ve just about used up all of our family and friends, we feel bad having to call people because we’ve been through this in the past and we don’t want to take advantage of people.”
With the water now going down, he said something should change to stop this from happening.
“We just wish some things could be differently done down at the dam in Keokuk, we feel like they hold way too much water back and they create a lot of problems up river, we wish some things would change on that,” said Howe, adding that when the water gets low enough he plans to pump the water out and power clean the basement before trying to figure out how to get the house sold.
Howe also said it’s especially hard to sell homes like his in areas commonly flooded, which makes it even harder for people in the area to move away when something like this happens.