Flooding In Midwest Brings Back Memories for Local Man

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

Rick Thurtle used to live in Quincy Illinois. "And it was in 1993 I actually lived right on the river and my house eventually ended up with eight feet of water in it."

Now as 20 levees along the Mississippi spill water into the surrounding countryside Thurtle is reminded what it's like to lose everything.

"We just kept watching for the thing to stop and thought 'oh well maybe it won't happen, maybe it won't happen but the water just kept coming up and up and up," says Thurtle. And 15 years later residents of the Midwest watch in disbelief.

"I am terrified, the fear of the unknown. you can't sleep at night for fear the whistle is going to go off to let you know the levees broke," says Susan Gill of Missouri.
Thirty more levees along the mighty Mississippi are in danger of giving way.

Sgt James McKinney of the Marine National Guard says, "when is it going to end, when is the water ever going to stop coming? But you just keep sand bagging, pray for the best."
Thurtle says it's during these hardships that communities really come together. Something he learned first hand when he helped fill sand bags for his home town. "Senior citizens down there who would take a stick and put twine around it like this and cutting the stuff we tied the sandbags with. And young people helping to transport and it really was a great thing to help people like that."
Thurtle says it took time to put the experience behind him, however the loss did bring him one thing.
"I was very blessed in the flood of '93. I lost everything I owned except my golf clubs and my bicycle and some clothes but the lord gave me a wife and we have been together ever since," says Thurtle.

Now residents along the Mississippi wait as water is expected to crest late tonight or tomorrow.

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