Thebes residents are used to floods


Reporter - Kathryn DiGisi

THEBES, Ill. - The flooding continues and the village of Thebes, Illinois is right in the thick of things, but the people who live there are used to the rising waters and have grown accustomed to taking yearly precautions.

In fact, they say the flooding does not phase them much, especially when you compare this year to the flood of 2011.

The bank of the river certainly looks different than it did last year.

In 2012, the drought was so severe, there were parts of the river exposed that had not been walked on in over 200 years.

But, the waters are rising again and as the waters rose, so did campground employee, Ron Edwards', work load.

He says the floods halt their business.

"You gotta get everyone notified that their campers are going to go under water so they can get it out. And we have to move all our stuff," said Edwards.

He said it was a busy three days of work, but Edwards, like the rest of the folks in Thebes, is used to the water.

He arrived to the village a year ago from Wisconsin.

"Jumped in my canoe and came down the Fox River to the Illinois River to the Mississippi River and ended up here 56 days later,' said Edwards.

The campground's owner, Neal Day, has experienced four floods in Thebes, and many more before that in Cape Girardeau where he is from.

There is a sense of calm about him, despite the rising water.

"Anyone that was raised on the river has encountered this before. This is not new to them," said Day.

But he knows better than to be too calm. He says he learned his lesson during the flood of 2011.

"You can't be complacent about the flood. If it's coming, you've gotta make preparations to get out its way," said Day.

After a life on the river, both men agreed, you never know what that Mighty Mississippi is going to do next.