DISASTER: Duck Drownder

St. Louis had escaped serious damage as the highest Mississippi flood crest in 103 years swept by (TIME, July 7). But south of St. Louis the little waterfront towns waited, fought the flood and passed the word downriver to towns like Grand Tower, Ill.

People in Grand Tower had been sandbagging their inadequate levee since April. As the river rose they speeded up their work. While children helped their elders fill sandbags with toy shovels, and every able-bodied citizen lugged the bags to the levee, the river kept rising. Suddenly, everybody knew Grand Tower was going to have a...

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