Cape Girardeau Sinkhole Problem May Improve

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO - For nearly a year now, the southeast Missouri town of Cape Girardeau has been battling one sinkhole after another.

But a city official says the threat is expected to decline as the Mississippi River level continues to go down.

Twenty sinkholes have been reported in Cape Girardeau since July.  The Army Corps of Engineers, the Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources and the city are studying the problem.  A final report is expected May 31.

Development services director Ken Eftink says last year's drought may have lowered the water table and created weakness in the ground near a creek.  When the river flooded this year, water may have channeled into the weakened underground chambers and agitated the surrounding soil.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)