Before the flood

In areas where creeks and rivers can become volatile, the best flood insurance is preparation for the inevitable.

Cape Girardeau built its floodwall that protects the city from the Mississippi River, and the LaCroix Creek/Walker Branch Flood Control Project. Those projects have saved the city many millions of dollars in damage that would have occurred in their absence.

Jackson asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study Hubble, Goose and Williams creeks to see if a reservoir system would help prevent flash flooding in the city, where rapid growth over the past 15 years has increased the likelihood of flooding as roofs and streets replace more and more green space.

Last week in preliminary findings the corps said a reservoir system for Hubble and Goose creeks deserves more study and would cost an estimated $5.6 million and $1.3 million, respectively. That would pay for 11 reservoirs to be built north of the city in the Hubble Creek watershed and three in the Goose Creek watershed.

That kind of money would require passage of a bond issue or sales tax.

These projects are in the early talking stages, but Jackson, Cape Girardeau County and the Hubble Creek Local Planning Committee -- a group composed mostly of farmers and Jackson representatives -- have been discussing the need to do something to control stormwater run-off in the Hubble Creek watershed for nearly 10 years. Time has come to do something before the problem become unmanageable.