Cape to see sixth river crest above flood stage

Saturday, July 26, 2008

For the sixth time this year, the Mississippi River is expected to crest above flood stage.

The National Weather Service is predicting the river to peak at 32.5 feet in Cape Girardeau on Wednesday. Flood stage is 32 feet, but residents probably won't need to start moving to drier land.

"There shouldn't be nearly as much impact as earlier this summer," said Dan Spaeth, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky.

The Cape Girardeau floodgates will remain open.

In fact, some are considering the current river levels a relief from earlier surges, which put the river over 42 feet July 4, the highest the Mississippi has reached this year. The overall record was set in 1993 at 48.5 feet.

While Southeast Missouri has remained relatively dry, heavy rains in northern Missouri and southern Iowa are contributing to the rising river levels.

"We're getting the remnant of that, and it is causing enough of a rise for the river to flirt with hitting flood stage," Spaeth said.

The existing precipitation pattern is not expected to lift soon. "We're in a pattern where we're getting one complex pattern of thunderstorms after another each night. Basically there's no change in sight to the general pattern we're in ... The river is probably going to remain elevated," Spaeth said.

As of noon Friday, the river in Cape Girardeau was at 28.25 feet and rising. Earlier this week, the river reached its lowest levels since the middle of March.

Between now and Wednesday's predicted crest, there is no more than a 30 percent chance of rain any day, according to the National Weather Service's forecast.

335-6611, extension 123

Have a comment?

Log on to

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: