Social Media Posts Confuse Residents About Chester Bridge Status

May 2, 2019

A two-year-old social media post from the Missouri Department of Transportation was re-posted Thursday, confusing area residents.

The post claimed the Mississippi River Bridge at Chester is closing due to high water on the Missouri side. But, the Perry County Missouri Emergency Management Agency says the post from MoDot being circulated on Facebook was from 2017.

Perry County Missouri officials say they've been working with the Boise Brule Levee District as well as MoDot to determine if and when the Chester Bridge will be closed to traffic. The Mississippi River is expected to crest on Tuesday. A determination will be made prior to then if the bridge will remain open based on water level forecasts.

The fast-rising Mississippi River is nearing levels unseen since a historic 1993 flood, threatening levees and forcing people in some areas to move to higher ground.

Major flooding is forecast to develop along the Mississippi River at Cape Girardeau and Thebes. At Cape Girardeau, the river will reach major flood stage Saturday night and crest near 44 feet Tuesday morning. That's still nearly five feet below the record crest. At Thebes, the river will reach major flood stage Sunday night and crest near 43 feet Tuesday morning.

Flooding has become a regular occurrence along the Cape Girardeau riverfront. Of the top 40 crests on record, only five were recorded before 1993.