The firefighters and other volunteers who have stepped up at Beaverfork Fire Department to fill sandbags in preparation of the historic 2019 Arkansas River Flood are nothing short of amazing.
I don't think there's a better way to describe togetherness and community support better than to simply observe these volunteers in actions.
Many of them don't know each other, but that hasn't stopped them.
Individuals, families and their children have gathered at the volunteer fire department each day since May 22 with a common goal: To fill as many sandbags as they can before they've worn themselves out.
At this one location, volunteers have filled more than 70,000 sandbags. But, volunteers aren't stopping there. Local bangs and restaurants have stepped up to help feed those who are hard at work, shoveling sand and stacking bags.
Along with filling sandbags for residents in need, volunteers have come together to bring sandbags to those out in the county who need assistance but don't have a means to come pick up sandbags on their own. A delivery system is in place that allows those who need sandbags to call the fire department, and then the volunteers will come to them with a load of sandbags.
It's eye-opening, how much the community has come together through this disaster.
Local high school football teams have volunteered their time both at the Beaverfork filling station and also at the station set up at the Conway Transportation Department. Both sites have been busy and filled with volunteers every day.
Many of the volunteers have helped out daily, and several don't understand the magnitude of the dangerous flood waters but sill are helping out. Families with their young children, some as young as 3 years old, have spent their summer helping their neighbors.
Earlier this week, I drove from Wooster to Lollie Road and looped around Highway 89. That same day, potions of Wooster along Highway 25 as well as a 1.3-mile segment of Highway 25 from West Cadron Ridge Road to Beaverfork Road closed.
As I drove through, I thought these closures would come within two days. But, the waters continued rising more quickly than what I had imagined.
Also in that time, Lollie Road has been shut down so that officials can closely monitor water levels along the Lollie Levee and many roadways along Highway 89 have also closed due to high waters.
Homes are turning into islands in some communities, families are boating to make it to their beds, and some cannot make it inside their residences. It's alarming to think we still haven't seen the worst of this mess. And heavy rains are expected to head into the area soon.
Hopefully, residents continue to stand strong and help each other out. During this time, it's a necessity.