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Cape Girardeau closes flood gates; city above flood stage

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (WSIL) -- Heavy rains over the weekend have put the city of Cape Girardeau above flood stage.

Public works director Stan Polivick says it's an early start to what he expects to be an active flooding season in 2020.

"We're not excited about it at all," Polivick said. "Last year was a long duration event, basically five months consecutive were above flood stage."

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Paducah announced Monday that the river levels in Cape were at 36.2 feet. Levels are considered above flood stage in the city when they reach higher than 32 feet.

Polivick believes the flooding won't have much of an impact in the city except for maybe one road, but he ordered the pedestrian walkways on Broadway and Themis streets to close as a precaution.

"It's early in the year, but we've seen some heavy rain events," Polivick said. "If you see standing water try to avoid that, don't go through it. You don't really know what's under there."

The NWS is predicting river levels to crest in Cape at 38 feet by Wednesday. Polivick says both pedestrian gates should be reopen by next Monday.

"Our system has performed extremely well even in the extreme events of 1993 and 2016," Polivick said. "We haven't had any dramatic problems to deal with, which is great."

Danny Valle

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