As Mississippi River crests, Clarksville flooding could be among highest in town’s history

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CLARKSVILLE, Mo. – With the Mississippi River expected to crest in Clarksville Monday, the current flood there will likely join the top ten list of the highest floods to ever to hit that town.

People started preparing for flooding more than two weeks ago and Clarksville Mayor Jo Anne Smiley said their efforts seemed to have paid off.

“It defended the properties we intended to defend, otherwise there would be water in them at the time,” she said.

The mayor said a few homes received more water than usual but those residents had a place to shelter.

In the meantime, female inmates from the Vandalia Correctional Center were sandbagging in efforts to keep the Mississippi from flooding Clarksville’s historic downtown buildings.

“They have come almost every time we’ve had a flood of size … and they’re wonderful. They work diligently and do as well, if not better than,  anybody else,” Smiley said.

City officials said a flood like this cost the community as much as $50,000.

Tuesday is election day and one of the precincts in Clarksville is under water, according to Pike County election officials. The precinct will be moved from the Catholic church to the firehouse.

“Certainly, how fortunate we are in America, we have the privilege to vote and so we felt like it’s important to make that available for everyone we can,” said Susie Oberdahlhoff, Pike County Clerk.

Mayor Smiley said she’s still concerned about even worse flooding in the weeks or months ahead. It all depends on the snow and ice melt up north and springtime rains.

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