Twenty-five years ago this week, Greg Yance arrived in the tiny town of Niota, Illinois, on the banks of the Mississippi River. He was serving time for a drug conviction and was sent to Niota with a group of inmates to shore up the town’s levee.
This was during the Great Flood of 1993, one of the costliest and most devastating floods in U.S. history, which caused catastrophic flooding across nine states and $15 billion in damage.
Greg hadn’t been back to Niota since the flood — until recently, when he reconnected with Neoma Farr, a local beauty shop owner he first met 25 years ago.
Neoma still runs her beauty shop in Niota, where she and Greg recorded this StoryCorps interview. Greg now works as a machine operator at a factory in Rockford, Illinois.
Originally aired June 29, 2018, on NPR’s Morning Edition.
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