Rock Island Corps Plays Key Role in U.S. Flood Fights

Mar 29, 2019

Local employees of the Corps of Engineers are ready to help hold back the rising Mississippi River. And they've already been very busy during this wet, snowy winter and spring.

Michelle O'Neill reports the corps' Rock Island District serves the entire country as the National Flood Fight Materiel Center.

Rodney Delp, Rock Island District Corps of Engineers Chief of Emergency Management (file)
Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

Rodney Delp, Chief of Emergency Management, says earlier this year, the corps sent 30 pumps to southern Illiois during the flood on the Ohio River near Cairo.

And the flood fight center is providing supplies and equipment for flood-fighting in Nebraska and western Iowa.

Delp keeps the flood center's warehouse on Arsenal Island fully stocked and double-checks inventory at least every two weeks.

The National Flood Fight Materiel Center does not distribute sandbags to homeowners or businesses. Delp says it's mainly responsible for helping municipalities and states protect infrastructure.

The Rock Island District also has a new, sandbag machine that helps workers fill about 45 sandbags per minute.