ALEXANDER COUNTY, Ill. (KFVS) - Strong storms that moved through Alexander County slowed traffic and caused additional flash flooding on Route 3 on Wednesday, June 19.
According to Keith Miley with the Illinois Department of Transportation, crews worked to clear Route 146 because the storms blew debris onto the road.
He said they weren’t expecting that much rain.
The good news is Miley said the Mississippi River continues to recede, helping their efforts.
Crews made some changes on Tuesday to help with traffic flow on Route 3 during flooding.
According to Keith Miley with IDOT, they started changing the light pattern on Tuesday, June 18, so that in the morning, the one lane portion of the road going into Cape Girardeau will have more green light time and in the afternoon, there’s more green light time going away from Cape Girardeau.
Part of Illinois Route 3 near Gale, Illinois closed at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 15 and will remain closed until further notice due to water on the road.
According to Keith Miley with IDOT, Illinois Route 3 between the IL 146 intersection at East Cape Girardeau and Gale, Illinois closed Saturday at 3 p.m. Warning signs are installed to inform drivers of the closure. The road will remain closed until the flood waters recede.
“We’re watching the water elevations and the rainfall coming and, you know, it could be closed for a few days, hopefully sooner. We’ll just, what we’ll do is we’ll reverse the process, we’ll open it up to one lane and then open it back up to two, once it gets off the road," said Miley.
Ambulances services have been rerouted for parts of Alexander county. The closure of Route 3 shuts off the direct route between the ambulance service and the nearest hospital in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
According to Alexander State’s Attorney Zachary Gowin, the ambulance service is encouraging anyone who can be transported by private vehicle to use that method. The plans for emergency situations which cannot be addressed by the use of a private vehicle.
A few ambulance services have agreed to aid Alexander County while they deal with the closure.
- East Cape - Cape County Private Ambulance has agreed to come over and transport.
- McClure, Olive Branch, Tamms, Thebes - Alexander County will transport to Union County Hospital.
- Cairo - Alexander County will transport to Sikeston.
You can click here for more information on flooded roads and bridges.
Drivers will have to detour though Anna-Jonesboro/Ware and come south on Rt 3/Route146 or take I-55 north from Sikeston, Missouri.
If you are traveling from Cape Girardeau to Anna-Jonesboro, one lane of Route 3 near McClure is still open to traffic.
According to the Pulaski County EMA, Illinois Route 3 is experiencing water on the road, resulting in lengthy detours for drivers.
This included Jim Monohan who lives in Thebes, Ill. He said everyone in his town and the surrounding towns are greatly impacted by this road closure.
“We get everything in Cape," Monohan stated. "We have no store here so we have to go to Cape. All the people that I know also have to go to Cape."
Due to the seep-water infiltrating the area, Monohan is now left with the choice of traveling around through either Jonesboro, Ill. or Sikeston, Mo. to get to Cape Girardeau for the next couple of days.
“That closure, that’s about a 60-mile trip one way from here to Cape down through Sikeston," Monohan said.
Monohan said he has a doctor appointment and a therapy appointment Monday morning in Cape Girardeau; something he said he cannot miss.
He said flooding and road closures are just something they have to deal with living in this area.
“We’ve been through it before,” Monohan recalled. “I’ve had water so high on that highway, I had water come over the hood of my truck when I drove through it. It’s just one of them things that if you live in the water zone, you are going to suffer.”