April 25, 1944 Southeast Missourian
Oscar Ussery and Thomas Jefferson are standing by piles of sandbags on the Big Muddy bank at Aldridge, near where the first levee break occurred last year. Today troops were to take over and go to work with the sandbags. The photo was taken in the low Illinois area now under threat of the second Mississippi River inundation in 11 months. (Photo by G.D. Fronabarger)
A previous mystery photo was found in the same edition of the Southeast Missourian:
Mystery Solved: Mule Team
Residents of McClure Flee Before Water
This fertile southern Illinois lowland, covering some 89 square miles, or 57,000 acres, faced with the prospect of a second disastrous flood in 11 months, was fast being depopulated today as residents, mindful of the drenching they got last May, loaded their possessions onto trucks and wagons and headed for higher ground.
This community is but one of a number lying in the area reaching from the south bank of the now flooded Big Muddy River, just north of Wolf Lake and Aldridge, south to Gale, Ill. Other communities threatened are Ware, Reynoldsville and Gale. Gale, lying south of the protecting levee, will, if the river reaches anywhere close to the 1943 level, be flooded by backwater from a small stream breaching the levee at that point.
Thousands of sandbags are being trucked to the levee all along the area, but concentrated mostly at the points where breaks occurred in 1943--Aldridge, Wolf Lake, McClure and today some were to be taken to Gale. The break nearest Gale--there wer two of them last year, is showing some seepage.
The Illinois State Militia has mobilized at Murphysboro, and about 1300 of the men were expected to be ordered today into the levee areas to fill sandbags and do other work incident to the protection of the sector.