Floodwaters close 15 Cape streets, are receding at Dutchtown

Sunday, May 1, 2011
The Mississippi River floods the Red Star district Thursday, April 28, 2011 in Cape Girardeau. (Laura Simon)

Robert Jones is waiting. He's watching as the water creeps closer and closer to his home at the corner of Spanish and Second streets in Cape Girardeau.

"I'm holding my own," he said Friday.

For three days, he's been pumping out water from the ever-sprawling Mississippi River as it seeps into his basement.

"This is one of the only houses that made it in '93," Jones said of the four-room house that's been in his family more than 50 years. It was built in 1905 and has seen four significant floods.

The floodwater came several feet closer to his house Friday morning, he said.

"I'm like a little island," he said. "I just keep everything up high and hope for the best."

He's watching the river forecast closely. On Friday morning, the river measured 45.2 feet and is expected to crest today.

Jones knows at 46 feet, he gets water inside the house.

"I can get everything out in 30 minutes," he said. He's already got boxes stacked on high shelves in his garage. In 1993, water was four feet deep in the garage.

Within Cape Girardeau, more than 15 roads are closed because of flooding along the Mississippi on both the north and south sides of town.

In the Dutchtown area, the water in the Diversion Channel and Hubble Creek has been dropping over the past couple days, said Steve Kuykendall, construction inspector with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. There was only about one foot of water on the other side of the emergency levee Saturday afternoon, he said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to monitor the emergency levee constructed there earlier last week along Highway 74 near the intersection of Highway 25. Both roads remain closed, causing problems for commuters.

Water was no longer flowing across Highway 25 on Saturday afternoon, Kuykendall said. The road had been underwater since Tuesday evening.

In Allenville several families have relocated because high water has blocked all roads into the town, said Richard Knaup, Cape Girardeau County Emergency Management coordinator. It's believed no more than two houses in Allenville have water in them, Knaup said.

A shelter remains open at the Osage Centre in Cape Girardeau, operated by the Southeast Missouri chapter of the American Red Cross. The Humane Society of Southeast Missouri continues to operate an emergency shelter for animals at the 4-H Building in Arena Park. Volunteers are needed, said shelter organizers. To volunteer, call 573-335-7846 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or 573-270-3086 after 4:30 p.m.

The Emergency Management agency will be monitoring the flooding situation all weekend by taking driving tours of flooded areas and watching the weather fronts as they move through.

"We are expecting 1 to 1.5 inches of rain this weekend, mainly on Sunday afternoon and night," Knaup said.

The rainfall isn't likely to bring higher crests along the Mississippi River but will keep the river levels from receding, according to David Humphries, lead forecaster for the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent address:

1001 N. Spanish St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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