Even when it proves futile, sandbagging is an experience with its own unique rewards, writes an Iowa resident in the New York Times. “Passing sandbags is a personal thing,” Joe Blair notes in an essay. “The line may be 300 feet long,” but for you, “it’s intimate, a three-person event. You take. You turn. You give. You get to know people.” The levee overflowed despite their efforts, but Blair's at peace with that.
"A friend of mine is angry about the time we spent bagging sand. He says our levee didn’t matter, the water having risen well over the top of it. 'Just more to clean up when the water recedes,' he said. 'It was a waste of time.' And he’s right, I know. But he’s wrong, too."