Dramatic Video Shows East Cape Girardeau Residents Flee Flooding, Escape Routes Cut Off
Some residents and travelers in East Cape Girardeau, Illinois are now trapped on an island in their cars. Yesterday, Illinois Department of Transportation shut down Route 146 which serves as a thoroughfare between Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge and East Cape Girardeau. The issue, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation, is over 10 inches of water is now covering portions of the road.
Officials are encouraging only those people with preparedness plans and supplies to consider remaining in the area.
“If you’re here in East Cape, you can stay in East Cape as long as you have supplies. But if you would like to leave, go ahead and leave. If you don’t think you can be supplied for, please leave because you won’t be allowed to leave once this happens,” said East Cape Girardeau Village Trustee, Jason Tubbs, via kfvs12.com.
Voluntary evacuations have also been ordered.
Route 146 is the only route into East Cape Girardeau, but rising waters are quickly compromising the road. Essentially, flood waters are leaving residents of East Cape Girardeau trapped and subject to the potential lack of city infrastructure. Fearing the potential of being cut off, many residents are fleeing through the rising waters despite warnings.
But others intend to remain, fearing looters may overtake the neighborhoods.
“The people I have talked to are not going anywhere,” she said. “We are going to stay here.” East Cape Girardeau resident Marlene Freeman told WPSD.
Currently, National Guard and emergency crews are the only vehicles allowed to pass on Route 146. The only way to enter or exit the city is by boat.
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Mississippi River Seep Water Floods East Cape Girardeau
The cause of the flooding is Mississippi River seep water. The river has been at a major flood stage for nearly a week, so the East Cape Girardeau flooding isn’t unexpected. The levee system is compromised, causing groundwater (seep water) to rise into communities. Until the Mississippi river drops, the seep water will continue to plague the region. The good news is that the National Weather Service expects the river to begin dropping below major flood stage this week. The river has remained above major flood stage for 112 days straight.
Travelers Risk Lives To Escape
If there’s one thing you don’t want to do during a flood, including a flash flood, it’s drive through it. Unfortunately, some residents, fearing being cut off from basic needs, are doing just that. Below is a terrifying video captured by a KFVS drone that shows vehicles negotiating rising flood waters.
Some people are attempting to drive through the floodwater in Cape Girardeau. (📸: Don Frazier/KFVS) A curfew was issued in East Cape & now McClure each night due to flooding>> https://t.co/UVSvri0Rdo pic.twitter.com/wyUXcRAJD5
— KFVS Weather (@kfvsweather) July 1, 2019
It is imperative the travelers understand the inherent risk to life associated with driving through flood waters. While a vehicle in front of you may make it, that doesn’t’ mean your vehicle will fair the same. It is important to take all warnings seriously.
This is yet another example of why we should prepare before tragedy, not as it unfolds.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.