East Cape Girardeau, Ill. braces for more rain as floodwaters start to recede

Floodwaters begin to drop in Alexander County, Ill. just as more rain moves in

EAST CAPE GIRARDEAU, Ill. (KFVS) - As the first signs of relief from flooding show up in East Cape Girardeau more rain from what is left of Tropical Depression Barry could make matters worse.

Officials said the high water surrounding East Cape Girardeau dropped at least three inches Monday July 15, but streets around town are also holding extra rain water that has to slowly be pumped out.

“I mean if you have a downpour in five minutes it’s over the curbs, it’s going in people’s yards," said Mike Smith, who does maintenance work for the village.

He said the extra rain coming toward the Heartland could easily cause a flash flood in town, so soldiers and volunteers have to constantly maintain more than a dozen water pumps to dry things out.

“They’re keeping these pump and they’re putting them in places that are strategically known for problems," Smith said. "We keep the pumps full of gas and we keep the oil changed. We are keeping pumps refurbished and ready to go, and backups when we need them. We’re getting clever at what we are doing here is what’s going on.”

Smith said the problem is the rain water has no place to go because their sewers and storm drains have been flooded for months.

“There is a concern with how much pressure our sewer system is under," Smith said. "It’s pushing and lifting 100 pound manhole covers, and then we fired our first diesel pump up and it stopped it.”

Smith also thinks the community has come too far to let the extra rain impact them.

“We’re not going to give up now," he said. "My goodness we’ve adapted and overcome and harder we work it seems like things have worked out even better, so we are just very fortunate to keep our levels down to where we can still live in our homes.”

Homeowners in East Cape Girardeau and McClure are urged to conserve water during rainy days so the already flooded sewer and drainage systems can have some relief.

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