VINCENNES, IND. (WTHI) - Rising rivers across southern Indiana bring out the sandbag brigades.
Weather service officials say the lower reaches of the Wabash and White Rivers are facing major flooding for the next several days.
That means dozens of river communities will be needing thousands of sandbags.
That need is being filled in Vincennes in large part by prison inmates.
The back yard at the Indiana Department of Transportation operations in Vincennes is sandbag central for southern Indiana.
A large part of the workforce here is a 30 member work crew from the Wabash Valley Correctional Institution in Carlisle.
Here the prisoners dig in and crank out sandbags that might well stop floodwaters from rivers from rolling into someone's home or even taking their life.
"They're out there doing quite a service to the community filling those sandbags," said Ralph Frazee with Homeland Security.
The prison crews are turning out about 10,000 sandbags a day, but even though it's dirty, tiring work the crew members say it's worth it.
"It makes me feel good to give back, you know," said work crew inmate Brad Cooksey. "I messed up out there but this gives me a chance to give some of it back."
The sandbags are being called for by the thousands throughout southern Indiana.
The efforts of these inmates may not put them on the front line of the flood fight, but their work is making a big difference.
"Those guys coming in out here and working all day has definitely impacted and appreciated by all the community members getting those sandbags," said Frazee.
Giving the men a chance to provide something positive while paying a debt to society.
The crew in Vincennes is one of two crews working the flood fight from the prison at Carlisle.
A second crew was doing it's part at New Harmony in Posey County.
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