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Mississippi River on the Rise

What a difference a few days – and a few inches of rain – make. A couple of days ago I was shooting pictures of a coed watching the river go by. This afternoon I rode by and the huge floodgates that protect Cape Girardeau from the Mississippi River were closed. (Click to enlarge the pictures.)

Surly Long Haul Trucker parked in front of floodgate in Cape GirardeauMassive rains throughout the Mississippi Valley have caused the Mississippi River to rise 2.6 feet in the past 24 hours and almost 18 feet since Sunday.

93-dutchtown-flood-markThe river is predicted to crest at 42.5 feet Wednesday. The record high reading on the river is 48.53 feet reached on Aug. 8, 1993, as shown by the High Water Marks on the floodwall.

Dutchtown floods at 39 feet

We have property in Dutchtown that goes under water when the Cape gauge is at 39 feet. Here’s Bro Mark canoeing in one of our buildings during the 1993 flood.

Mississippi River is unpredictable

One year it’s a major flood or, like in 1918, the whole river can get clogged with ice. My Surly Long Haul Trucker shivers just to think of it.

On a coolish weather note, I was very pleased with the new tights I bought from Performance Bikes just before we left town. I thought they’d be too big and not warm enough. I was wrong on both counts.

Surly Long Haul Trucker in front of mural showing Mississippi River clogged with ice in 1918

Big rains make big rivers

I mentioned last year that I interviewed the old man who had been reading the river gauges since the days of Adam and Eve.

What had he learned in all those years?

“Big rains make big river.”

Looks like nothing has changed.

Mississippi River floods Cape before the seawall

My dad had these pictures of the 1943 Flood creeping onto Main Street in downtown Cape in a scrapbook. I can recall storeowners putting down plank walkways so customers c0uld walk over the flood waters to shop on the second floor of the stores.

L.V. Steinhoff scrapbook photos of 1943 Mississippi River Flood in Cape Girardeau, MO

2 comments to Mississippi River on the Rise

  • I think it is quaint when people refer to young women as coeds. :-) (don’t stop doing it).

    Wanted to see some pictures of the river, though.

  • I’ll have more pix of the river shortly. I shot some stuff going through Thebes and Cairo on the way home.

    I noticed the river was well up on the flood wall when I cross the Cape bridge into Illinois. There wasn’t a good vantage point to shoot, so I kept on going.

    Coed is a good word for headline writers. We loved it. Old habits are hard to break.