One community fights major flooding with only sandbags

BUFFALO, Iowa  --  Down the river from the Quad Cities, other neighboring communities are also being impacted by the floods. The city of Buffalo doesn't have a flood wall or any HESCO barriers put up. The city's only form of protection is sandbags, but those sandbags are starting to fail.

"We have been doing a lot of sandbagging," Buffalo Assistant Fire Chief Dave Kimes said. "Helping them get the bags higher up."

"We didn't think this would happen," resident Pat Teel said. "But, it did happen."

Residents say they weren't prepared for the sandbags to fail. Kimes says the bags aren't strong enough to beat the pressures of the strong waters.

"The pressure of that water, it pushes them right in," Kimes said. "The water is really strong."

Kimes says the fire department has responded to more than a dozen broken sandbag calls. He says the have already lost four buildings to the waters. The flooded waters came in on Monday, April 29th. The bags began failing on Tuesday, April 30th.

"The problem is, it`s comes in through your drains from the river," Kimes said.

Mary Kimes owns Driftwood Bait shop with her husband. The shop has inches of water on the inside, because their sandbag wall failed.

"I lifted everything up yesterday," Mary Kimes said. "I really honestly didn't think this was going to happen."

The fire department is volunteer based, with 25 volunteers. Crews have been using their four pumps to help people pump out the water from their businesses and homes.

"We have pumps," Mary said. "But, it's probably going to get worse with rain."

Mary says the bait shop will be closed for the rest of the week or until the water recedes. Many other businesses in the downtown area are closed until the water recedes.

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