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Hardin gets new sandbagging machine as residents brace for flooding

Posted at 6:13 PM, Jun 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 12:22:50-04

HARDIN, Mo. — Residents in Hardin, Missouri, are all too familiar with severe weather.

In 1993, they experienced historic flooding that destroyed everything in its path, even sweeping through a cemetery.

"Unfortunately, it's nerve-racking. But it also becomes kind of common for flooding," said Brian Strider, who grew up in Hardin.

Strider saw the flooding in 1993 firsthand.

"It was very surreal. It was very shocking," he said. "What I mean by that is we didn't know what to expect, we really didn't know what was going on. The technology we had back then is not what we have today."

Now, as the town once again braces for the worst, new technology is helping residents prepare, thanks to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Seattle.

The Seattle district sent a new automatic sandbagging machine to help the town, which has been sandbagging for days.

The machine can fill between 1,000 and 1,300 sandbags in one hour, according to James Rudy, an area engineer for the Corps' Kansas City district.

On Monday, locals said the new machine is a blessing. Strider said that 26 years ago, when the National Guard came into town, guardsmen dumped sand and bagged it "right on the road."

"We got a lot of older people, people who can't really help and it's just nice when people like that show up," said Bret Strain, who's lived in Hardin the past 55 years. "It just shows you there is a lot of good left in the world."

Now, people in the Missouri town are waiting to see what Mother Nature does next.

"We realize there is more rain coming. We realize there is more rain coming from up north," Strider said. "It's going to be a fight all summer. Water is going to stay high. We just hope can sustain what we have now."

The mayor is confident the town's farming mindset will help its residents overcome any challenge.

"I was around in '93 and it's doing different. I thought I had it pegged, but you can't peg Mother Nature, I guess," Mayor Bob McCorkendale said.