Around 45 Iowa National Guard soldiers returned to Camp Dodge in Johnston Wednesday from a mission to help flood victims in Missouri.
Staff Sergeant Justin Scarborough led the group of soldiers who volunteered for the mission on New Year’s Eve and arrived in Missouri the next day.
He says they traveled to the city of High Ridge, Missouri which had flooded, and they filled “Hippo” transporters with 2,000 gallons of water from various sites and took them back to a dump location in the city. The water was then pumped into the city’s water tower.
Scarborough says they didn’t mind missing out on the New Year’s celebration for a work mission. He says the residents of the city had no water to drink or wash or anything else, and it was gratifying to see their response. “Oh, it was amazing, I’ve been in the military 13 years and I’ve never seen residents more helpful and more thankful for what we did then them,” Scarborough says. “It was amazing.”
Scarborough says everything about the mission went well. “In a three-day span we moved a total of 502,000 gallons. Ultimately we got one of the towers — one to 30 percent and one to 60 percent,” Scarborough says. He says Missouri National Guard members were also helping and they moved a total of 1.6 million gallons of water into the towers.
Scarborough says he was impressed with the mood of the people of High Ridge in the wake of the flooding. “High spirits, thankful most of the time,” Scarborough says. “Not really in a bad mood with us at least.”
The Iowa National Guard says the treatment plant shut down by flooding in High Ridge serves approximately 6,500 customers in High Ridge and Murphy, Missouri.
The Iowa soldiers are members of Companies A, B and C, 334th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, located at Camp Dodge, Cedar Rapids and Oelwein.