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A Race Against the Clock: Sandbagging along the Illinois River

Red Cross volunteer, James Hall of Lafayette, IN, unloads supplies from the ERV in Bartonville.

The rising water levels and potential for more devastation in the area was enough to get William Henning, a Commissioner for Pekin & LaMarsh Drainage and Levee District, to help lead a team of volunteers to fill sandbags in Bartonville, Illinois.

“I put the call out yesterday and I’m just amazed at the number of volunteers today,” said Henning.

Surrounded by family, friends and co-workers, Henning says the chilly weather did not discourage the volunteers, who filled dozens of sandbags today.

When the American Red Cross Central Illinois Chapter arrived in the Emergency Response Vehicle with water, coffee and food, Henning says he was “extremely thankful.”

“I’m worried about everyone in the district, especially the farming community,” said Henning. “This is about their livelihood.”

Thousands of people across central Illinois have been impacted by flooding, and many more will be affected as the Illinois River and Mississippi River have not crested yet.