Call for volunteers issued late Wednesday afternoon
Approximately 50 volunteers, including a class of high school students, turned out Thursday morning to fill sandbags in Hannibal.
"We were so happy the high school's building trade and landscaping class was able to come out. That made a huge difference," said Mary Lynne Richards of the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department.
The request for assistance was not issued until late Wednesday afternoon.
"I really wasn't sure what the turnout would be, but we are so pleased," Richards said. "We have people of all ages, shapes and sizes here. It's been a really good turnout."
Corey Mehaffy, a relative newcomer to Hannibal, decided to help after seeing a Facebook post about the need for volunteers.
"I wanted to come down and do my part with the sandbagging efforts," he said. "I appreciate all these people who have come out and donated their time today."
Colin Welch, who said a sense of "civic duty" brought him down to fill sandbags, was not shocked by the turnout.
"I was slightly surprised, but this community draws out volunteers," he said. "I'm glad to see so many people with a shovel in their hands."
Mehaffy would not offer a guess as to how many sandbags had been filled by midmorning.
"We should've counted them. We have filled a bunch. I think we have used over a truckload of sand," he said.
Not all the sandbags being filled will wind up on the downtown flood levee. Sandbags were being given to private citizens needing them, Richards said, adding one man had already hauled off three pickup loads.
The city of Hannibal would be receiving additional sandbags from Marion County, said Eastern District Commissioner Larry Welch.