A Different Type of New Year

by Maria Tran I usually associate new year’s eve with parties, streamers, and a ball drop. This year, it was associated with sandbagging along prison inmates to prevent a small town from completely flooding. It was certainly not something I anticipated starting the new year with, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The town is called Kimmswick and it is a small city in Missouri known for it’s history. Acquiring access to the town was more difficult than usual due to the road closures from the flood. Once we had arrived in Kimmswick, we could see sandbags spread throughout the back of town with crowds of folks huddled around them. Once we got there it seemed like most of the townspeople were taking a break because they had been working since six in the morning. It was eight o’clock when my team showed up. Many of the individuals that I was working alongside were in jumpsuits. When I inquired about that, I learned that they were prison inmates that were brought to help with filling and laying sandbags. For the amount of people that were there, I expected an incident command system and more organization, but it was very chaotic. My team and I helped fill in the space that was in their work gap. It was really nice seeing everyone come together to help a town that was in need because of a natural disaster.