Volunteers prepare thousands of sandbags as water levels rise

Published: Aug. 23, 2018 at 9:29 PM CDT
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Volunteers and Monona Public Works gathered in Oneida Park in Monona Thursday to fill thousands of bags with sand in the hopes of keeping Monona homes dry.

On Wednesday, the team filled about 15,000 sandbags, providing enough to supply 65-75 residences, said Dan Stephany, the Director of Public Works in Monona.

"Today we requested another 20,000 sandbags that we have on site, and we've trucked in about 120 yards of sand already," Stephany said.

Stephany said that on Wednesday about 80 to 100 volunteers worked together at the park, and that they would likely continue filling bags until around 9 p.m. on Thursday. Stephany also said that some members of the community were considering a neighborhood watch to ensure that throughout Thursday night, water levels were watched and leaks could be filled.

Despite the heat and the hard work, volunteers from Monona and elsewhere pitched in.

"Well it's a state of emergency so we had to come out and help, it's what you do," said Jill Bailey, who lives in Monona. She contributed by tying sandbags once they were filled.

Her son, Cade, also helped out by shoveling sand and filling the bags.

"Part of it is knowing that I'm helping people not to get their possibly whole house ruined," said the ten year old. "And partially because my mom told me to."

With the possibility of more rain this weekend, Monona Mayor Mary O'Connor said she hopes people are ready.

"We're hoping to keep things at sort of an equilibrium once we get to this additional three inches, but depending on how much rain we get, we have no idea what to expect," O'Connor said. "We're just hoping that people are prepared to spend their weekends down here bagging if need be."