f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Broadway and Caruthers flooding 1954

Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2011, at 7:30 AM

April 28, 1954 Southeast Missourian

Cape Girardeau streets became rivers during Tuesday afternoon’s torrential downpour and windstorm. The accumulation of water at the intersection of Broadway and Caruthers avenue posed a big problem for east- and west-bound motorists when they attempted to negotiate the “little river” conditions. (G.D. Fronabarger/Southeast Missourian archive)

Jimmie Thompson's restaurant can be seen at the left.

Here is a previous blog about Jimmie Thompson's.

April 21, 1955 Southeast Missourian

Torrential rains which struck Cape Girardeau and the area Wednesday night sent creeks and water courses pouring out of their banks, filled streets to above curb level, did isolated damage to houses and caused a considerable amount of damage to unpaved streets.

The rain measured 3.39 inches on the State College gauge and 3.11 inches on the riverfront gauge kept by Lee L. Albert. It began to fall shortly before 5:30 o'clock, coming from a heavy cloud that moved in out of the north and west.

At certain times, at the middle of the storm, large hailstones fell. Much was noted in the west central part of town.

The downpour intensified between 6 and 7 o'clock and began to pile up as creeks were filled by the continuing deluge. With these outlets unable to take the downpour, and with water pouring off hills into the city's low spots, streets began to fill.

West Broadway between Caruthers avenue and Forest avenue filled into its usual lake-like proportions as sewers filled to capacity and the water piled up. Numerous automobiles were stalled there.

Similar situations prevailed in other low places in the city, and traffic had to be cautious or cars would be drowned out.


View 9 comments or respond
Community discussion is important, and we encourage you to participate as a reader and commenter. Click here to see our Guidelines. We also encourage registered users to let us know if they see something inappropriate on our site. You can do that by clicking "Report Comment" below.
  • Cape's flood control project has reduced the kind of flooding we got in those days and later.


    Most of the businesses along Kingshighway would be underwater like they were in the 80s if the project hadn't been done.

    -- Posted by ksteinhoff on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 8:16 AM
  • Now if we can just get the water out of my basement!

    -- Posted by rockytop10 on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 12:08 PM
  • Let's see, they cleared the farm land, covered it with asphalt, built next to the only water course around, then got the Feds and Cape shoppers to pay for the problem created. It had to be done.

    -- Posted by semowasp on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 1:03 PM
  • Semowasp, that is called PROGRESS my son...

    -- Posted by johnboy25 on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 1:13 PM
  • It worked!

    -- Posted by Yankee Station on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 3:04 PM
  • Interested to know when and why Caruthers was widened - another planned major north/south route besides Kingshighway, or just to accomodate the new Jr. High and High Schools.

    -- Posted by fxpwt on Wed, Apr 27, 2011, at 8:21 PM
  • It's easy to slough bad plans off as better than nothing in the name of progress - as long as someone else is paying for it. No wionder public debt amounts have been ignored for so long.

    -- Posted by semowasp on Thu, Apr 28, 2011, at 4:57 PM
  • I remember swimming at that intersection one time in the late 50's or early 60's. There were a whole bunch of us neighborhood kids having a blast in the flood waters.

    -- Posted by hsfan on Thu, Apr 28, 2011, at 6:50 PM
  • What would happen if the Cape city council used it's casino windfall to repay some of that instead of buying more toys. It would be a small start.

    -- Posted by semowasp on Fri, Apr 29, 2011, at 5:46 AM