Doniphan Residents Battle Current River Flooding

DONIPHAN , MO (KAIT) -- As President Bush declares flooded areas of Missouri a major disaster area and orders federal aid, residents in Doniphan are left wondering when the 10 inches of rainfall will recede.

What looks like a flooded marsh is actually a road to the business district of Doniphan that was flooded, as it under several feet of water.

Normally the Current River is a tourist attraction for Doniphan.  Thursday its overflowing banks forced businesses to close and residents out of their home.

"Pretty much everything is gone, but hopefully we'll be able to salvage some of it," said Chad Thompson as he carried a cooler full of clothes from a home flooded to its window ledges.

Doniphan schools have already been out 10 days because of weather and bomb threats this year.  Flooding will cause students to be out at least another two days.

"I'll probably have to go until June but I guess that will be ok, you can't control nature," said DHS Senior Tela Huckabee.

Nurse Bonnie Ryman comes from Poplar Bluff to assist Ripley County patients in their homes, but flooding has kept her from doing her job.

"I've never seen it like this. Normally you see a little stream going under the bridge, but like you can see it's huge, you can't believe it until you see it!" exclaimed Ryman.

"This is kind of mild compared to the flood of '82, it was worse in '82, but it looks better than it did last night. It looks like it's gone down a little bit," said lifelong resident Lisa Collins.

Ripley County officials rescued about 20 people and are working to repair damage done to roads.  Despite all, some are choosing to look on the bright side.

"The good thing is that we don't have any more rain for a while," laughed Collins.

The Current River has been around 23.5 feet; it's expected to crest later Thursday night at 25.5 feet.