This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Great Flood of 1993. I remember it like it was yesterday. The Flood of 93 was the most devastating flood the United States has ever experienced. Estimates say it caused between $15-20 billion in property damage. Some death tolls have the number around 50.
I grew up in Southern Illinois in Waterloo which is in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. I spent a good portion of my summer in 1993 filling sandbags, stacking them on levees, and doing whatever else I needed to do including driving an old El Camino without a driver’s license around the river bottoms taking supplies volunteers. I wasn’t old enough to drive yet but in that case no one seemed to care.
I remember all the talk and speculation of which levee would break, which towns would be destroyed and which would be spared, how high the water level was and when was it expected to crest. Some towns like Grafton, IL were above flood stage for nearly 200 days.
Then on August 1st, I witnessed devastation first hand as the levee broke near Columbia, IL and the town next to my hometown, Valmeyer, was completely destroyed by the Mighty Mississippi. Living through this experience might have somehow shaped my passion for ShelterBox. An International disaster relief charity that provides life saving equipment after natural and man made disasters, ShelterBox’s mission is to provide shelter, warmth, and dignity to survivors on their worst day ever.
I am using my adventure this summer to raise awareness and money for ShelterBox USA so we can continue our mission. So please follow along at Mississippi Expedition for ShelterBox on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and here on my blog. I look forward to you coming along as I conquer the Mighty Mississippi.