Several Alexander Co. towns under voluntary evacuations - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Several Alexander Co. towns under voluntary evacuations

Flooding in Thebes, Ill. (Source: cNews) Flooding in Thebes, Ill. (Source: cNews)
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(KFVS) -

An emergency evacuation is in place for Alexander County residents behind the Len Small Levee.

With the Mississippi River now predicted to crest several feet higher than first believed, many communities along the river held emergency town meetings on voluntary evacuations Tuesday night.

City officials in East Cape issued voluntary evacuations for the entire community. 

City officials in McClure officially declared a state of emergency and urge residents to evacuate.

Union County authorities also issued a voluntary evacuation. 

The Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau is projected to crest at 50 feet on Sunday, 1.5 feet above the 1993 record of 48.5 feet. That will put water within 1 to 2 feet of the levee walls here in East Cape.

East Cape officials say the Army Corps of Engineers ensured them the levee is structurally sound but it's the height has them concerned.

New crest projections released by the National Weather Service on Thursday increased previous projections so that the levee is expected to be overtopped sometime during the day Friday, Jan. 1.  

Alexander County Board Chairman and Commissioner Chalen Tatum says the new crest numbers for Thebes, Ill. is 49 feet and the Len Small Levee can only hold 47.5 feet. If the numbers turn out to be correct, the water will top the levee.

Tatum asks that residents seek higher ground if they live behind the levee. This could affect about 500 homes.

This will mean residents in the affected areas will only have a short amount of time to react.  Everyone in the area is encouraged to be proactive and take action now.

Areas impacted include Fayville, Miller City, Willard, Olive Branch, Hodges Park, Unity, Sandusky, and Cache.

Officials ask those in Alexander County who leave their home to contact one of three numbers to advise them of the address and contact information for the home owners.  Those numbers are: Chalen Tatum - Alexander County Board Chairman at (618) 521-8102; Tim Brown - Alexander County Sheriff at (618) 203-6057; or EMA Operations at the Alexander County Highway Department at (618) 776-5431. 

Officials will compile a list of impacted residents so they know who made it safely out of the area and set up extra patrols for the areas affected.

The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Osage Centre in Cape Girardeau, Mo. to assist residents in the impacted areas.  The address for the Centre is 1625 North Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau, MO and their telephone number is (573) 339-6342.

Stay up to date on everything that has to do with the New Year Flood by clicking here.

Before you travel anywhere, make sure you check out our list of flooded roads in the Heartland.

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