PLEASANT VALLEY, Iowa -- The Army Corps of Engineers is training its next group of flood area engineers for Rock Island District, which extends from Dubuque in the north to south of Hannibal, Missouri downriver.
"Most of the folks here, their day job is at a desk," said Rodney Delp, Chief of Emergency Management for the Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District. "Doing engineering type work or some of them are operations or maintenance personnel, we have a pretty wide diversity," he said.
The junior flood area engineers took part in training in five different stations, learning how to fill and stack physical barriers like sandbags and gabion baskets, set up and run powerful pumps, and other flood fighting techniques.
They come from different backgrounds in the Army Corps of Engineers, some of them managing operations at lock and dam systems along the Mississippi River. Jeff McCrery is an Environmental Compliance Coordinator in his day job.
"This is a collateral duty for all of us," he said. "We volunteer to take this on in addition to our normal duties for the district," he said.
The Mississippi River remains above major flood stage in the Quad Cities as of Wednesday. It could crest again before this year's flood season is over.