Rte. 146 between East Cape Girardeau, Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge reopens; parts of Rte. 3 still covered with water

Updated: Jul. 23, 2019 at 2:21 PM CDT
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EAST CAPE GIRARDEAU, Ill. (KFVS) - While the water is receding, parts of Route 3 are still covered.

According to Keith Miley with the Illinois Department of Transportation, about 5-7 inches of water remain on some parts of Route 3.

He said it dropped about a foot thanks to the river going down.

Starting on Wednesday, July 23, Miley said crews will focus on starting the cleaning process and pavement inspection to make sure the road is safe to drive on. The goal is to reopen it as soon as possible.

A stretch of Route 146 reopened late on Friday afternoon, July 19. The road had been closed to traffic since July 3.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, a 1,500-foot stretch of Route 146 between East Cape Girardeau and the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge was opened to local traffic only.

An East Cape trustee wanted to emphasize that they do not want any sightseers coming to town. Even though Route 146 is dry, it’s only open to local traffic. The concern was that sightseers will break a sandbag wall that is protecting the town.

People in East Cape Girardeau who were forced out because of flooding are finally returning home.

Trish Dokich has lived in East Cape Girardeau since 2007. She is halfway through renovating her home when she left before floodwaters boxed the community in, and was worried for weeks that water would get inside.

She has been staying with family and friends across the river, and today was her first chance to step back inside.

Luckily, she did not find any water inside her house or in her backyard.

“It’s a relief to come home and see my floor still intact, my walls are still intact," Dokich said. "This is actually the first time I’ve actually sat on my couch since I got my furniture.”

Dokich said she does not want to go through another flood like this and says the experience has left a lasting impact.

“Everything you take for granted may not be there tomorrow,” Dokich said. “And you look around at the people who have really suffered and your heart just bleeds for them. I’ve been so blessed to come home and see my property not damaged by water."

Dokich is moving back in this weekend and plans to give back by handing out food to everyone who helped in the flood fight.

Keith Miley with IDOT said crews set up stoplights and cones to allow vehicles to drive on the center line, one direction at a time.

Best case scenario, Miley said crews will start cleaning and open one lane on the other flooded routes by Friday, July 26. He said the reopening process will involve a lot of inspecting and clean up.

IDOT suspended bringing in any more sand or pre-made sandbags to East Cape Girardeau.

While the route from Cape Girardeau, Mo. and East Cape Girardeau, Ill. has reopened, Route 146 and Route 3 remain closed to gale and McClure remain closed.

Crews are also cleaning up the part of Route 146 in town where the sandbag-making machine was set up.

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