NewsJuly 9, 2024
Moderate flooding is expected along the Mississippi River, with water levels in Cape Girardeau potentially peaking at 36.50 ft, the highest in three years. The NWS advises vigilance but no major concerns.
By Keenan Baker ~ Southeast Missourian
The Mississippi River floods an observation ramp in downtown Cape Girardeau on Monday, July 8.
The Mississippi River floods an observation ramp in downtown Cape Girardeau on Monday, July 8.Keenan Baker ~ kbaker@semissourian.com

Minor flooding along the Mississippi River began Friday, July 5, and is forecast to continue until Wednesday, July 17.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Paducah predicted a crest in Cape Girardeau at 36.50 ft for Thursday afternoon – potentially the highest local water level in three years, largely due to heavy rains and remnants of storms from Hurricane Beryl.

Since 2020, the highest recorded crest was 37.83 feet in late March 2021. However, Cape Girardeau and surrounding areas aren’t far removed from the historically high water levels of 2016 (48.86 ft) and 2019 (46.36 ft), the latter of which was above the “flood stage” of 32 ft for nearly five months.

Despite the weight the word “flood” typically carries, representatives from the NWS-Paducah and the St. Louis U.s. Army Corps of Engineers urge those concerned not to worry.

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“As of right now, we’re not expecting that to have a huge impact,” said a representative for the St. Louis Corps of Engineers. “Nothing too crazy.”

For the NWS in Paducah, a representative said the water levels measured in Cape Girardeau are “not common, but not abnormal".

While the water levels are not currently dangerous, prolonged high water makes it difficult for the river to find relief, leaving it vulnerable to more flooding. Flash flood warnings are currently in effect for southeastern Missouri, with heavy rainfall approaching due to the remnants of Hurricane Beryl and summer thunderstorms.

During the summer months, the higher water levels and tropical downpours are good reminders to maintain a connection with local weather stations and news for any alerts. For those curious about observing and forecasting water levels, the NWS website for Cape Girardeau is located at https://water.noaa.gov/gauges/cpgm7.

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