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Shawnee inmates fill 60,000 sandbags

VIENNA (WSIL) — Inmates are helping in the flood fight by filling sandbags to hold back rising waters and reinforce levees.

Over the past nine days, offenders at Shawnee Correctional Center have filled more than 60,000 sandbags. Those sandbags have mostly been going to towns near Alton. 

However, the next batch of sandbags will go to McClure and East Cape Girardeau. 

Mark Shumake, Assistant Chief Engineer for Shawnee Correctional Center, says inmates want to do their share to help those in need. 

"They feel good about what they are doing for the community," Shumake explains. "I’ve talked to a lot of them and they’ll say if we can just save one home or farm ground, somebody from that headache of losing what they have." 

Sandbagging is expected to continue for about another week or until floodwaters reside. 

This is the second year that inmates at the prison have filled sandbags. It’s likely they’ll continue doing it in coming years. 

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