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River effort can't protect town

June 29, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

A makeshift barrier holding back the Mississippi River failed, swamping the low-lying part of the small community of Winfield and ending a valiant but ultimately doomed battle against the surging river.

About 300 National Guard soldiers worked nearly 20 hours to build a levee around a cluster of 100 homes in the flood plain after the river destroyed another levee there.

Officials had hoped the barrier would keep the water at bay long enough for the water to recede.

Still, those in the town of 720 said they would not forget the heroic effort to save the neighborhood.

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