Volunteers pitch in to sandbag effort to stem Jefferson Chalmers flooding

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Hours after Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan asked for volunteers to help pack sandbags to prevent flooding in the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood, he received a massive response.

"This is the first shift, we've been overwhelmed by how many people stepped by and showed up to help our neighbors," said Alexis Wiley, chief of staff for Mayor Mike Duggan. "

A retired couple was watching FOX 2 when they said they knew they could make a difference.

"We saw the mayor say they needed volunteers," said Chevette Jackson. "So it was like, let's go out and do it."

"We experienced some of the flood, too,' said Tyrone Jackson. "Our basement got wet."

The Jacksons spent Thursday alongside other volunteers and city workers. 

"My husband has been shoveling the sand in the bags, I am holding the bags and tossing them over," Chevette said. putting sand in bags and I'm tossing bags over 

Mayor Mike Duggan was also helping out. The city hopes this volunteer effort will help produce 50,000 sandbags.

"We have a lot of work to do to secure this neighborhood against the rising river," Duggan said. "We could use your help."

Duggan says recent heavy rainfall is not the major factor for the flooding in this neighborhood and that it's being caused by the Great Lakes which appear to be at their highest water levels in history.

"There could be no rain at all and we could have flooding," he said.

"If your home is impacted it's dire," Wiley said.

And the volunteer work doesn't stop with filling sand bags. If residents can't pick up a sandbag, volunteers will bring them to you.

"We're just trying to make sure we touched everybody," Wiley said. "We know there are 30 homes in this area, so we want to make sure we are touching everyone."

If you need sandbags brought to your home: detroitmi.gov/flood