Cape Girardeau leaders monitoring excessive rain due to concerns about flooding

Updated: Feb. 12, 2020 at 4:52 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Cape Girardeau leaders are keeping close tabs on the Mississippi River due to all of the recent rain.

According to the National Weather Service, the Heartland experienced above-normal rainfall in 22 of the last 26 months.

In 2020, the Heartland has seen almost double the average amount of rainfall.

Public works director Stan Polivick said when you're traveling around it is easy to see the impact, as the creeks are full and the land is saturated.

Additionally, he said river levels are unseasonably high.

"The river has stayed high all winter, all fall and winter, which is unusual," Polivick said. "... we haven't been below 25 feet more than a day or two for the last several months and typically we'll get around 15."

Stan said these issues make him worried about flooding this year.

You can click here to check flooded and closed roads in the Heartland.

The National Weather Service in Paducah is also monitoring the soggy situation.

"We don't know what to do with it," according to Pat Spoden, the science and operations officer.

The issue, Spoden said, is if an unusual pattern sets up where the Midwest sees significant rainfall day after day, it could push the Mississippi River into flood stage.

Spoden points out rainfall in the upper midwest, combined with wet soil conditions, led to the severe flood of 1993.

However, there is some good news.

According to Spoden, the snowpack up north is not as widespread or as deep as it was last year.

“So when that melts unless we get major snowstorms in the next month or two that’s not going to be the problem,” Spoden said.

Polivick said he hopes that if we do see significant flooding this year that it does not last as long as last year.

Cape Girardeau public works is still reeling from the effects of the 144 days spent above flood stage in the summer of 2019.

Polivick said the city is prepared for more flooding this year.

“We are making sure we’ve done our inspections, the routine things we do on the flood wall and the levee system,” Polivick said.

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