Union volunteers helping take wall down

The city's temporary flood wall

The City of Clarksville has successfully won its fight against the Mighty Mississippi River.

Crews tore down the city's temporary flood wall after battling the flood waters for almost three months.

But city officials realized it was going to take longer to take the wall down than it did to put it up.

Now there is some volunteer help from a local union training center that is speeding up the process.

For the past couple of weeks, it's been one backhoe trying to tackle 7,000 tons of rock along the Clarksville riverfront. It's a long, tedious task. A casual conversation led to volunteers from the Operating Engineers Local 513 union training center near Silex to show up and put the project on the fast track.

To have people who volunteer to go into communities and do things like this for the community is just above and beyond and it certainly puts us in a position to be able to accomplish something that we need to accomplish and not have to find the funds to do it," Clarksville Mayor Jo Anne Smiley said.

Smiley said she's grateful for the helping hand. With their help, all of the flood wall will be gone by the end of the week. To top it off, the work work gives the students at the training center some on the job experience.

"It kind of gives them real job experience, al so they go out and work too, when they're not going to school with us. So yeah, it's good for him, he's learning to load trucks and how to deal with the trucking and all that part of it and we're helping Clarksville too at the same time," Rick Hickerson, who is an instructor at the union training center said.

The rock being removed will be sold or used by the city of Clarksville for upcoming road and street projects.