QUINCY -- It's not an announcement Ray Thomas wanted to make, but he knows that safety must be a priority.
With projected levels of the Mississippi River, the organizer of the Quincy 5 Miler race said Wednesday that he has canceled the seventh annual Sept. 15 paddle-powered race, as well as the 15-mile Bear Creek Grunt on Sept. 16.
Projections from the National Weather Service show that the river's level will exceed 20 feet the day of the race. Flood stage in Quincy is 17 feet.
"That just makes it so our boat launches were both going to be underwater; our parking lots underwater," Thomas said. "The Quincy Area Volunteer Emergency Corps is our safety boaters ... but they told us they thought this was dicey enough that they were really questioning the decision to hold the race with these conditions."
The National Weather Service in St. Louis says Quincy can expect between 4 and 6 inches of rain through Monday morning.
"We saw the beginning of what almost looked like a perfect storm," Thomas said. "We've got a tropical depression that's heading north up the Mississippi valley with Quincy directly in its path. Now that has altered somewhat, but when you have that and rains you have forecast to the north, we were looking at hydrology reports that were putting us in the 20s (feet) at race time."
Thomas said the races will be back in 2019. Anyone who registered this year will get an entry for next year's race.