Swollen river causes sinkholes in Caruthersville, Mo.

Sinkhole issues in Caruthersville

CARUTHERSVILLE, Mo. (KFVS) - Ground water from the swollen Mississippi river is causing sinkholes in Caruthersville, Missouri.

Nathan Ellgren gives us a closer look on Heartland News of the damage and how it is impacting the community.

Ground water from the Mississippi River is to blame for about 20 sinkholes and other sewer issues around town.

The city has been above flood stage for more than 130 days, and during that time resident Barbara Rodgers has seen more and more damage.

"I was driving the other day and to see so much damage to a place that you love and I really just wanted to cry,” said Barbara Rodgers.

Her husband, Tee Rodgers is worried about the sinkhole right in front of their house.

“I’m disabled, I’m in a wheelchair it’s kind of scary to me because if I were to fall in one of these sinkholes my van wouldn’t operate. I couldn’t get out. I’m just there," said Tee Rodgers. "And then I have things going on structurally with my house. If that falls in, why couldn’t that fall in? It’s a possibility. I might wake up in a hole.”

Public works director Paul Shaw says the flood damage is already above $2 million and will continue to climb.

“This is going to be our generations marker for the bad one," said Shaw. "Our problem usually gets worse as the water goes down, so we are still going to see more problems in the next few weeks, probably.”

Shaw says they can not repair the caved in roads until the flood waters recede.

“A lot of our work is going to be contracted worked because of the depth of our sewer we’ve got 14 and 18 foot sewers here so you need somebody specialized in that to do it safely,”Shaw said.

Luckily the city was added to a disaster declaration and will get some federal funding. Shaw says the small town needs it.

“Very because there is no way we could’ve afforded to fix everything without the help of SEMA and FEMA,” he said.

Because of all the sinkholes in town, Caruthersville is out of traffic cones.

Officials say more have been ordered.

If you see a new sinkhole you can report it by calling City Hall at 573-333-2142.

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