Flood recovery efforts continue for many

Monday, March 31, 2008

During the recent floods, many people shared stories of watching rising creek water lift propane tanks and carry them away.

People who lost fuel containers during the storm can get free help from Missouri's Department of Natural Resources. Art Goodin is coordinating the DNR's container recovery program. Teams are using planes and boats to find the washed-away containers and have collected more than 250 so far. They need your help to find the rest. If you've discovered a random fuel container and need it removed -- or lost one in the flood -- call the DNR's 24-hour spill line at 573-634-2436. In addition to asking for callers' contact information DNR officials want to know the location and type of container, as well as what evidence of leaking is visible. A crew will come and remove the container.

"This is your chance to get it done pretty much by the state, for free," he said, adding that teams should be done, weather permitting, in two weeks.

Nancy Jernigan, United Way executive director, announced Saturday that the Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) committee is activating resource centers for Cape Girardeau, Perry, Scott and Bollinger counties.

The resources centers will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday in Marble Hill at a to-be-announced location and noon to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Delta Community Center, 211 East St. in Delta.

Call the helpline at 211 or 573-334-4357 for details.

Among the agencies pitching in are the Red Cross, Salvation Army, the IRS and "a couple of FEMA people" will be on site, Jernigan said. "The purpose of COAD is to meet the long-term unmet needs, after all the other aid is determined."

"In the 12 years I've been here the COAD has one been formed once, after the Jackson tornado," she said.

Missouri Department of Transportation officials plan to construct a roundabout as part of the Route AB extension to Blomeyer Road. First, MoDOT is hosting a public hearing on the project from 4 to 7 p.m. April 10 at Cape Girardeau Regional Airport.

After hearing the roundabout will be 25 percent larger than the one built in Perryville, I asked Perry County Sheriff Gary Schaaf for his opinion on the light-free intersection at U.S. 61 and Perryville's Main Street.

"I think traffic does flow better through that way than it did before [with the light]," he said. "When you had work get out it seemed like it took forever to get through that thing."

Replacing a traffic signal with a roundabout saves, on average, $5,000 in maintenance and electric bills, according to MoDOT officials.

I'll be out and about Saturday covering the city of Cape Girardeau's first Storytelling Festival, which starts at 9 a.m. Friday and runs through 3:30 p.m. Sunday. From all advance reports, it seems safe to say, "prepare to be charmed."

For event details, call the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau at 335-1631 or 800-777-0068 or visit www.capestorytelling.com.

Southeast Missourian features editor Chris Harris is looking for your original stories, as told in audio or video. E-mail them to her at charris@semissourian.com.

Do you have a story for Lost on Main Street? E-mail pmcnichol@semissourian.com or call 335-6611, extension 127.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: