‘Whatever it takes’: Forest City residents brace for a battle with the rising river

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FOREST CITY, Mo. -- Many folks in the small town of Forest City spent the day on pins and needles.

"It just keeps creeping up all the time," a weary Doyal Acton said.

He lives just yards away from the Missouri River.

"If it would come all at once, you know, I could get trapped in my home where I couldn't get out," he said.

Acton and many of his neighbors have lived in Forest City for decades. They've never seen the Missouri River as high as it is right now.

"I don't understand it, but I guess there was a lot of recent snowmelt and stuff in between the two dams, and we had that big storm come across and all just hit us all at once," Acton said.

On Thursday, Acton and dozens of moms, dads, students, city officials and many others spent the day filling up scores of sandbags and stacking the bags all around the town's water plant and other businesses in the heart of downtown Forest City.

"My biggest fears are the water coming into Forest City possibly and, you know, everybody's livelihood being affected," said Dana Medsker, who works in Forest City.

Their livelihoods and more could be on the line if the rising river overtakes three major levees in the small town.

"It's frustrating, but there's really not much you can do about it. My four kids and my wife are all out here shoveling, bagging, whatever it takes. You got to serve your community and lend a helping hand," South Holt School District Principal Ted Quinlin said.

"I think it's nice that all the community is coming together. It's a life experience," eighth grader Zoey Schroeder said.

In the meantime, Acton didn't take any chances Thursday  night. He packed up and spent the night at a motel.

"I'm just hoping that the river goes down to where it doesn't get into town," he said.

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