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The city of Buffalo got some extra help filling sandbags Thursday.

IDOC sent two crews of 15 “work out” inmates from the Anamosa State Penitentiary and the Mount Pleasant Correctional Facility. Each crew was supervised by two IDOC staff members, spokesman Cord Overton said.

The work out inmates are those who have a lower security classification or have nearly completed their sentence for a non-violent offense.

Overton said IDOC is part of what the Iowa Homeland Security refers to as the “big 8,” the eight main state agencies often called upon for immediate response to disaster events.

During major disasters, like statewide flooding, many other agencies are required to respond to the State Emergency Operations Center as well, Overton said.

The Iowa State Penitentiary also has been conducting sandbagging operations for the town of Fort Madison.

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A work crew from Mount Pleasant was assisting the Iowa State Penitentiary but was pulled off that mission to support the town of Buffalo, according to IDOC.

In addition, work crews at Iowa State Penitentiary are continuing to fill sandbags on institutional grounds and will soon pickup another mission to support filling sandbags in support of Burlington.

Sgt. Bill Hyde of the Scott County Sheriff’s Office said the department has used people who need to work off community service hours to fill sandbags in Buffalo and Davenport as needed over the last two-and-a-half weeks.

Ninety-five community service workers plus two sheriff’s office staff members each day have worked 608 total service hours in that time period, he said.

Each shift is about five hours with groups of 10 people on average, Hyde said.

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