The Mississippi River is Rising Again
June 30, 2014
By the end of the week, flooding could reach near-record levels in the Quad Cities. The latest forecast from the National Weather Service is for a crest at least 6 1/2 feet over flood stage - more than four feet higher than this (mon) afternoon.
Davenport public works director, Mike Clarke, says the key will be how much rain falls north of the Quad Cities tonight - even one-quarter of the possible rainfall could push the level of the Mississippi River up to 6 1/2 feet over flood stage and tie the 5th highest level ever.
"Right now with all of the moisture, all of the rain in this active weather system, our ground is super-saturated. So anything that falls now - very very little of it is going to infiltrate into the ground - it's all runoff - it's going straight to the streams."
Despite the dire possibilities, Clarke says business owners and residents in downtown Davenport, close to the Mississippi, shouldn't worry too much.
"But the fortunate thing is our plan is so well-rehearsed, our equipment is all pre-staged, and our folks are very experienced. So having to put in full flood protection in 24 hours is not a big drill for us. We just stay calm, stay steady, and we've got everything in place."
The forecast now calls for the river to reach its highest level in the Quad Cities on Friday night, and only drop back slightly through next week.
(photo: Clarke showing reporters how various river levels will affect downtown Davenport)