EAST CAPE GIRARDEAU (WSIL) — Folks in East Cape Girardeau are still dealing with standing water thanks in part to the rising level of the Mississippi River.
Jaime Nash-Mayberry, a high school social science teacher at Shawnee Junior-Senior High School, says deteriorated levees are adding to the standing water.
“This water, in a sense, is due to deteriorated levees, because if they were perfect, we probably wouldn’t have all this seep water… You’re always going to have seep water, but I think what’s happened now is these levees are so old, they’re not able hold back the water that they used to be able to, and so we’re seeing over the years, more and more seep water popping up," Nash-Mayberry said.
Residents have now come to expect seep water when the river gets high.
Becky Glodo, who works as the Village Clerk of East Cape Girardeau, says she’s dealt with flooding as long as she’s lived there, “When the river gets high seep water is just something we have to expect. Yes, I’ve lived here for almost thirty years, and we’ve always dealt with the seep water."
But not all of the water standing in East Cape Girardeau came from underground. Any rainfall has been forced to collect at the surface, due to the seep water.
“Every rainstorm we are getting now is just more and more water sitting out here and there’s no place for it to go. So, it’s seep water, and it’s rain water, and it’s just going to keep rising until we finally get a break from the river, and we’re able to open up the drainage pipes and get this water out of here," said Nash-Mayberry.
Locals hope an effort to reinforce the levees will preserve their way of life. Nash-Mayberry and her students have donated their time and effort to raising awareness of the deteriorating levees.
“My students and I have raised awareness of deteriorating levees in this area. We’ve done a number of presentations to politicians, we’ve written letters, we’ve sold t-shirts," Nash-Mayberry said.
Now, her students are doing much more than selling t-shirts. They are also helping out by filling sandbags in the heat.
Ryan Schaefer, a student at Shawnee Junior-Senior High School, said sandbagging is just a part of living on the river.
“When the river comes up, you got to start sandbagging, and you just get it to where you can hopefully deal with the water and not have to worry about flooding your town," said Schaefer.
Students will not be able to help Friday due to a school trip, so officials are asking for help from the community. If you are available to help fill sandbags, just show up at the Village Hall of East Cape at 9 a.m.