MUSCATINE, Iowa – After reaching the third highest crest in Muscatine history, the Mississippi River is now receding but the river could remain above flood stage well into the later part of June or early July. And that is dependent on the weather.
The Mississippi River officially crested at 24.52 feet on June 2, surpassing the 24.42 foot mark reached on June 17, 2008. The crest is also the second crest of 2019 to reach the historic top five following a 24.33 crest on May 3, 2019.
“This seriously reminds me of 1993,” Randy Howell, Street Maintenance Supervisor for the City of Muscatine, said. “We had several high crests then and a long time of being above flood stage which took a lot of manpower and resources. Hopefully, the river will continue to recede but you just cannot count another rise out of the question.”
Howell said that as the river recedes city crews will begin the work of cleaning up Mississippi Drive. That work began Monday (June 10) with Mississippi Drive between Iowa and Pine streets reopened to traffic early Monday afternoon.
The rest of Mississippi Drive should be open by the weekend according to Howell.
Crews have already begun to clear the Sycamore and Cedar intersections. The Walnut intersection still has water standing and will be the last cleaned before Mississippi Drive is reopened.
Howell noted that Structure 2 (flood wall at Mad Creek on 2nd Street) is tentatively scheduled to be opened on Thursday with Structure 1 (flood gate at intersection of Mississippi Drive and Mulberry Avenue tentatively scheduled to be opened Friday.
“We should have all of Mississippi Drive and 2nd Street cleaned and opened by the weekend,” Howell said.
The latest observation from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has the Mississippi River at 21.24 feet and falling. The river is projected to steadily recede over the next 10 days, falling below major flood stage Wednesday and below moderate flood stage Saturday.
If the projections hold true, crews from the Department of Public Works and the Parks & Recreation Department will be able to begin cleanup and inspection of Riverside Park on Monday, June 17.
“The river needs to be at 17-feet or below before we can really begin to effectively clean and inspect the park,” Howell said.
Riverside Center and the Pearl City Station have both been surrounded by water since early March with Parks & Recreation crews waiting to get inside and inspect for water damage.
A date to reopen Riverside Park has not been established as yet.
SPRING 2019 FLOOD BY THE NUMBERS
- 87 consecutive days above flood stage - The Mississippi River has been above flood stage (16 feet) since March 15.
- 55 and 44 – 1993 had two time periods of consecutive days above flood stage separated by a 19 day period below flood stage … 44 days (April 5-May 19, 1993) and 55 days (June 10-August 4, 1993).
- 103 total days above flood stage – A total of 103 days over a 121 day period were above flood stage in 1993 (April 5-August 4).
- The Mississippi River has risen and fallen five times since March 15 … cresting at 19.34 feet March 18, 20.73 feet March 25, 21.95 feet April 10, 24.33 feet May 3, and 24.52 feet on June 2.
- 61 consecutive days - The Mississippi River was at or above moderate flood stage (18 feet) for 61 consecutive days (March 16-May 16), and 85 of the last 87 days. The river returned to moderate flood stage May 18.
- 50 consecutive days - The Mississippi River was at or above major flood stage (20 feet) for 50 consecutive days (March 23-May 11). The old mark was 32 days set in 1993 (June 27 -July 28). The river returned to major flood stage on May 28 and has been at major flood stage for 63 of the last 87 days.
- The April 9 crest of 21. 95 feet was the seventh highest in Muscatine history and the third highest April flood crest. In 1965, following another wet fall and snowy winter, the Mississippi River crested at 24.81 feet on April 29, a level that held the record for the highest crest until the 1993 flood. The second highest April flood came in 2001 when the river crested at 23.50 feet on April 25, the sixth highest crest overall.
- Six of the top 10 and 14 of the top 25 Mississippi River crests have occurred during the month of April. Also in the top 25 were three in July including the record 25.61 foot crest on July 9, 1993, two in June including the third highest crest at 24.42 feet on June 17, 2008, two in March, three in May including the fourth highest at 24.33 feet on May 3, 2019, and two in October including last year’s 20.73 foot crest on October 13, 2018.
The Muscatine County Emergency Management Agency encourages those affected by recent flooding in Muscatine County to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
There are four ways to register for disaster assistance:
Online at: www.disasterassistance.gov.
Visit a state/FEMA Disaster Recovery Center (DRC). Go online to www.FEMA.gov/DRC to find the nearest location.
Call 800-621-3362, voice/VP/711. Multilingual operators are on duty. TTY 800-462-7585. Phone lines are open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time.
Download the FEMA app on your smartphone at www.fema.gov/mobile-app.
Information on Iowa’s flooding and disaster assistance can be found at floods2019.iowa.gov.
SBA OPENS BUSINESS RECOVERY CENTER
The U.S. Small Business Administration and the Iowa Small Business Development Center have opened an SBA Business Recovery Center in Davenport to provide a wide range of services to businesses impacted by severe storms and flooding that began March 12, 2019. The Center is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fridays at Eastern Iowa Community College located at 101 West Third Street, Davenport, IA 52801.
SBA Disaster Loan Assistance
SBA Fact Sheet – Disaster Loans
Roads (Downtown Muscatine Detour Map)
- Mississippi Drive closed between Mulberry Avenue and Iowa Avenue.
- 2nd Street closed at Mad Creek.
- Flood detours reinstated on May 26.
- River Road closed from Cannon Avenue to Sherman Street.
- Riverside Park remains closed.
- Running River Trail System is closed between Cannon Street and Sherman Street, and partially closed through Riverside Park.
- The floodwall at Mulberry and Mississippi Drive (Structure #1) installed.
- The floodwall at 2nd Street and Mad Creek (Structure #2) installed.
- No events have been impacted at this time.
Seep pumps have been set, and appropriate gates closed in various low-lying areas of the city.
The City of Muscatine will provide empty sandbags to residents of Muscatine upon request. It will be the responsibility of residents / business owners to obtain their own sand and fill the sandbags. Empty sandbags can be picked up 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Department of Public Works, 1459 Washington Street, Muscatine.
Flood Safety Tips and Resources https://www.weather.gov/safety/flood
Iowa 2019 flooding www.floods.2019.iowa.gov
Severe Weather Awareness Week and links to local NWS websites www.beready.iowa.gov
National Weather Service – Quad Cities www.weather.gov/dvn/
Levee Breach Study - http://www.muscatineiowa.gov/745/Levee-Breach-Study