Cape Girardeau prepares for rising water

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Leaders and community members in Cape Girardeau are prepared for rising water from the Mississippi River.

A sandbag machine is now on site in the Red Star neighborhood to help fill sandbags for people in town that need them. It is available from 4-7 p.m.

Members of Southeast Missouri State University's football team spent Wednesday morning, May 3, at Red Star to help fill and place sandbags.

Employees with the Cape Girardeau Public Works Department check the flood wall, levees, and pump stations regularly to ensure they are functioning properly.

The river is forecast to crest on Sunday, May 7 and will reach the same level as the 2016 New Year's flood.

The crews inspect the wall anywhere from one to six times per day depending on how much water is touching the wall.

The owner of Paddle Wheel pizza on Water street says he often forgets about the river being on the other side of the wall.

"It doesn't scare us," said Brad Pool. "It just seems like part downtown I guess."

Stan Polivick checks the wall along with some of his public works crew. They look for any water coming through the wall or any signs of cracking. It's how they ensure the wall is up for the challenge.

Even though some water is leaking through the gates they said there is no reason for concern.

"People down here can conduct there business as usual and I hope they take us for granted and don't have any reason to worry about it," said Polivick.

But even though they have made improvements, they still take every flood very seriously.

"It is a little unnerving to have an angry river flowing by us at record levels again." said Polivick.

Right now, there's about 5.5 million gallons of water per second flowing down the Mississippi by Cape Girardeau. By Sunday that could be closer to 8.2 million gallons per second.

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