Flooding Fatigue: Cape Girardeau Public Works Dept. working around-the-clock since mid-March

Updated: Jul. 5, 2019 at 5:10 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - As of July 5, 2019 more than 52 trillion gallons of water have passed through Cape Girardeau since March 12.

That’s 115 days of the river being above flood stage and Public Works Director Stan Polivick said they are ready for a break.

“Four-hundred-and-fifty-billion gallons a day are passing Cape Girardeau,” said Polivick.

Polivick said that’s more than four times the amount of water passing through Cape Girardeau when the river is not above flood stage.

"Thankfully, the river is going down and we can maybe see the end of the tunnel. But we’ve still got a couple of weeks to go it looks like,” said Polivick.

But until then, the pump stations have to manned 24 hours a day.

Which means a lot of man hours for city workers.

“When you do that for a hundred and something days, even when it’s a rotation, it still is very tiring and we will be very delighted when we can open everything back up and let the river go,” said Polivick.

"We’re fortunate that this event has been really long and not really dramatic for us,” said Polivick.

He said the longest period the city has been at above flood stage was in 1993. They were above flood stage for 125 days.

"We’re gonna pass that it looks like. This will be record event on duration. Thankfully it’s not also a record on the gauge on how deep the water got,” said Polivick.

Once the river does go down, Polivick said they will have to clean the mud and debris off the river trail and do maintenance on the flood gates.

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