Many Southeast Missouri residents have memories of the flood of 1993. Their experiences include having their homes under water at the peak of the flood, helping family, friends and neighbors evacuate to higher ground and filling countless bags with sand to shore up levees and protect homes prone to flooding.
Since then, several towns in Southeast Missouri have had buyouts of property likely to flood. Some new levees have been built in the past 15 years. As a result, many residents of Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau and Commerce are paying more attention to flooding north of St. Louis instead of worrying about their own potential danger.
Floods are terrible, but the aftermath of floods is horrendous. Fires and tornadoes destroy homes and businesses and wipe out personal treasures, most of which can be replaced. Floods leave much of what they touch intact -- and covered with muck and mold that make cleanup a nightmare.
The river was expected to crest Monday in Cape Girardeau more than eight feet below the 1993 level. That's good news. But the suffering to the north has grabbed our attention. Several area residents have responded to appeals for help as towns have fought to minimize flood damage.
Towns that have been inundated, many of them across Iowa, now face that nightmare of cleaning up. The effect of this year's flooding will be far-reaching. Crop losses alone are likely to be felt in the nation's food supply for months to come.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who are enduring the effects of flooding this year, and to the hundreds of volunteers who have pitched in to help with the aftermath.