Clarksville, Mo., has barely begun to set itself to rights after the latest deluge from the Mississippi River. But city officials are already worried about the next flood.
"It just seems like the flood comes more and more often now," said Clarksville Emergency Manager Kathy Weiss. "Twenty years ago we didn’t have a flood every year, but seems like now every year or two years we’re having a flood. So we have to think of something more permanent.”
Weather forecasters are predicting slow relief for Missouri and Illinois towns battling floods.
A number of towns situated along the Mississippi River have been dealing with rising waters over the past few days. The northeast Missouri town of Clarksville is experiencing its sixth flood in the past decade, while roads around Grafton, Illinois, are also under water.
Governor Jay Nixon received a briefing Friday on the flooding situation in West Alton, Mo. Although the small town is still battling floods, a big question now is how to cope with the cleanup costs.
Local officials stressed that the flooding is still at a critical stage, and that the Mississippi is still well over flood level.
But the question of how to handle the costs will have to be answered in the coming weeks. St. Charles County has spent about $1.4 million, but said keeping track of receipts has not been a priority for the past few days.
Tourist towns up and down the Mississippi River are feeling the economic pinch of high water, with the swollen waterway overrunning main routes to popular destinations and traffic dwindling.
That’s bad news for places like Clarksville, Mo., which relies heavily on sales tax revenue.
They’ve stayed mostly dry thanks to efforts to keep the river at bay when it flooded in April, but Mayor Jo Anne Smiley says getting rid of temporary defenses that include 7,000 tons of rock and 500,000 sandbags won’t be cheap.
MSD says the Mississippi River has dropped enough to turn the pumps back on at Watkins Creek, ending the discharge of untreated wastewater into the river. The agency is asking that residents continue to avoid floodwaters in the area of the station, which is in the 11000 block of Riverview in Spanish Lake.
Governor Pat Quinn has asked for federal help in the recovery after this spring’s flooding.
Quinn says the application is for 11 counties, mostly located in the northern part of the state. He says with more than 3,000 homes affected in those counties alone, there’s more than enough evidence for the president to approve his request.