Saturday, May 12, 2007

Flood Stage

A quick bike ride to the river chute at Island No. 7 showed me what I needed to see. The Mississippi River is exactly where it was for the Christmas Bird Count, right around 22 ft. Cape Girardeau is expecting moderate flooding tomorrow; houses downtown and some low lying businesses will see water at their steps. As the river passes the east side of Crowley's Ridge, an area unprotected by levees, the water level will drop as the river is able to fan out over vast stretches of farmland and the town of Commerce. By Monday at New Madrid, the Mississippi River will start dropping well below its regular spring levels.

Last week, I thought I'd have to spend Monday moving my office upstairs, parking my car on the levee and paddling back through brown water. Instead, I'm doing what any self-respecting outdoors person would do with a Truman Day holiday: I'm going canoeing in the Ozarks.

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