Water still rising in East Cape Girardeau, hope on horizon

Watching water level in East Cape

EAST CAPE GIRARDEAU, Ill. (KFVS) - East Cape Girardeau, Illinois is still fighting flooding as waters continue to rise.

In the village, roughly 150 National Guard and Air National Guard members were on hand on Sunday continuing to assist and help with flood fighting efforts.

Illinois National Guard Major David Sanford said they are watching water levels and continuing to focus on filling sandbags and reinforcing walls.

"There's always a little bit of fluctuation, but other than that, we haven't seen any spots with a large increase of water levels," Sanford said. "On our end, we are maintaining which has given us the freedom to keep building and keep reinforcing the size of the walls throughout the area."

Sanford said it's important they continue to help to save this town.

"We have to do what we have to do out here to keep that risk of flooding into their homes, mitigate it and any flooding that has already been taken into their homes lessened as much as we can," Sanford continued.

According to Illinois Department of Transportation District 9 Engineer Keith Miley, the water on the closed Highway 146 by the Bill Emerson bridge has rose another half inch overnight. This now brings the depth to 13 inches.

Now that portion of Highway 146 is closed, people are forced to either boat or wade through the water or not cross it at all.

Heartland News saw many East Cape Girardeau residents walk through the flooded highway to get to and from the village.

This section of Highway 146 between East Cape Girardeau, IL and the bridge has rose yet another half inch since...

Posted by Mike Mohundro KFVS on Sunday, July 7, 2019

“To say it’s devastating is putting it mildly,” Village of East Cape Girardeau Trustee Jason Tubbs said. “To watch our people to have no other option but to boat or wade out of their home, to get to work and back and forth, and some people floated groceries in, it’s just crushes your spirit. But at the same time, with that being said, everybody in town and everybody in our surrounding areas rally together to get things here.”

Tubbs said Sunday was a day where many people were making the trip to Cape Girardeau to get more daily essentials.

"Several of our residents went out and got groceries to last them about a week," Tubbs stated. "Today we are at that pivotal point where people are needing more supplies and more groceries. So we are trying to take care of that."

Other than that, it's a 24/7 battle for local leaders and additional crews to check up on levees and pumps.

Tubbs said there are three flood gates that have just recently opened in Union County that might alleviate some of the water there in the county later this week.

“We have a lot of hope today,” Tubbs mentioned. “The three gates at Lyerla Lake, they call them the tri-gates, are all now open. So that should relieve some pressure. It’s not anything that happens with us overnight. It may take a week or so, but that is some hope for us.”

Copyright 2019 KFVS. All rights reserved.