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Battling floodwaters in Alexander county

ALEXANDER COUNTY (WSIL) — Crews have been working nearly around the clock to install nearly a dozen water pumps. 

The pumps will help maintain, and hopefully reduce rain and seep water levels that have been building up for months. 

"It’s endangering homes, businesses and flooding roads," says Jeff Denny, Engineer for Alexander County. 

Pumps then put the rain and seep water up and over the levee and back into the Mississippi River. 

Denny says its more of a preventative measure to make sure the situation doesn’t worsen, "You’re not going to see a big drop. We’re more stopping this from getting any higher." 

Two pumps are up and running north of McClure to help residents in that town, and ten pumps will be installed for East Cape.

The first was up and running on June 3 and the rest will be installed in the coming days. 

In East Cape, city workers and residents have been putting forth their own efforts to stop flooding including water pumps and sandbagging. 

Mike Smith, with the city’s maintenance department, says sandbagging has played a crucial role in keeping most residents in their homes. 

"Daily we’re adding more (sandbags) and more everyday," Smith explains. "If we didn’t do that, we would be in trouble." 

But for some residents that hasn’t been enough. They evacuated in recent days. 

Smith is worried about expected rain this week. He fears showers could make floodwaters rise and breach a sandbag levee keeping lagoon water out. 

"I just don’t know day to day how long they’re going to stay there (sandbags)," Smith says. "Everybody is up and moving around and reluctant on staying, and I don’t blame them." 

Members of the Paducah Coast Guard have been working to build up the levee, but Smith advises those in low-lying area to stay with family or friends on higher ground, if possible.

East Cape is still in need of volunteers to help fill and place sandbags. Those interested can contact village hall at (618) 661-1225.

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