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State Historical Society of Iowa

Men Placing Sandbags to Reinforce Dikes during a Flood in Council Bluffs, Iowa, 1952

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Photo of several men working to fill and place sandbags to reinforce dikes during flooding that took place along the Missouri River in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1952.
Courtesy of State Historical Society of Iowa, 1952


This photograph shows workers filling and placing sandbags to reinforce dikes during Missouri River flooding in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The severe flooding occurred in April 1952.

Source-Dependent Questions

  • Why do you think these men are volunteering to do such hard work?
  • What are other methods of flood mitigation do Iowans use during a flooding emergency? Is sandbagging still used today? Why or why not?
  • Describe what what these workers might have thought or felt as they continued to fill and place sandbags along the river?