The effort to control the water spilling over the Caney Creek levee between Oran, Mo., and Chaffee, Mo., was a battle to save farmland that was not inundated, not to stanch the flow from the main weak spot.
The staging ground Wednesday was the farm of Becky and Mark Eftink, where dozens of people were filling sandbags while others stacked them at low spots near the County Road 264 bridge.
"This is community central here," Becky Eftink said. "We farm here, have a lot of equipment here and friends, family and neighbors and people we don't know who came out to help."
Inside the farm shop, where the Red Cross had set up a rest station, Henry Trankler paused for a moment. His land, along with that of Marvin Pobst and the late Herbert Hahns, was filling with water while he helped save the Eftinks' property.
"They helped me, I help then," Trankler explained. Before he left his home, the volunteers helped move furniture to the second floor -- just in case.
In other areas of the county, the water swamped much of Chaffee, leaving the Food Giant surrounded by water and flooding several streets as well as a car wash and a church.
"I've never seen it like this," said Cathy Ray as she waited outside the Dollar General Store for a family member. "I've lived in Benton all my life and my family is from Oran, and I've never seen it like this."