Route 146 between Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge, East Cape closes to all traffic

1 foot of floodwater on Route 146 on July 4

EAST CAPE GIRARDEAU, Il. (KFVS) - People who live in East Cape Girardeau will live on an island as water rises over Route 146.

On Wednesday, July 3, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced Route 146 closed to all vehicles at 7 p.m. between the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge and East Cape Girardeau.

Emergency and government vehicles will be allowed to drive through the closed area.

Boat tour of Route 134, Rt. 3 in East Cape

According to Illinois Department of Transportation Engineer, Keith Miley, there’s 1 foot of water as of July 4 covering the road, and it’s not safe for drivers anymore.

He said he expects the water to keep rising over the coming days.

“If you’re here in East Cape, you can stay in East Cape as long as you have supplies. But if you would like to leave, go ahead and leave. If you don’t think you can be supplied for, please leave because you won’t be allowed to leave once this happens," said East Cape Girardeau Village Trustee, Jason Tubbs.

The mayor of East Cape issued a voluntary evacuation to the entire village because of the road closure.

Previously, on July 1, it was closed only to low-profile vehicles.

“It’s scary,” said Ashley Sturm who’s been watching the water rise and worrying this would come. “For me, it’s just been a scary situation ever since my car started to not be able to get across.”

Her friend towed her car through the flooded road, and she parked it closer to the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge, along with several other neighbors’ vehicles.

“We’re very thankful that we’re allowed to park over there,” she said.

Now her house in East Cape’s on one side of the flooded stretch of Route 146 and her car’s on the other.

“Thank God I have friends and family. My sister come and helped me out with grocery shopping and everything yesterday," said Sturm.

She said neighbors who drive trucks also helped people get back and forth.

“We’re staying good as a community. Everybody checks on everybody,” she said.

Copyright 2019 KFVS. All rights reserved.