MUSCATINE, Iowa – The Mississippi River continues to withdraw back to its banks while cleanup efforts progress inside Muscatine’s Riverside Park with the goal to reopen the park to parking and activities by the weekend.
The latest observation of the Mississippi River level at 17 feet (1:15 p.m. CDT) with the projection showing the river dropping out of flood stage by Thursday (June 20). The National Weather Service does not anticipate any significant rises in river levels through next weekend although the potential for heavy rain may slow or delay the fall in river level. Flash flooding may be a bigger concern with soils still saturated.
Riverside Park will remain closed to the public through the rest of the week but City officials are hopeful that cleanup operations can be completed and the park reopened by the weekend.
“We will keep the park closed to the public until all of our cleaning operations are completed,” Randy Howell, DPW Street Maintenance Supervisor, said. “There is still a lot of mud and debris throughout the park that will take some time to clean up. We want the park to be safe for the residents of and visitors to Muscatine.”
The Department of Public Works has been working since Monday to clean the parking areas and Harbor Drive inside Riverside Park with most of the accumulated Mississippi River mud removed. DPW will use their own tanker and, with the assistance of the Muscatine Fire Department, hose down the parking areas Wednesday and Thursday.
The Parks and Recreation Department has also been busy inside the park working on cleaning the Pearl View Station and the Riverview Center. Nick Gow, Parks Maintenance Supervisor, has indicated that groups of volunteers from Kent Corporation will be on hand Friday morning and again in the afternoon to help cleanup efforts in the park.
Two of the major concerns for Parks and Recreation is how well the two buildings came through the extended flood, and assessments are underway along with cleaning of the interiors. An assessment and cleaning of the Mississippi Mist will be conducted later.
After reaching the third highest crest in Muscatine history on June 2 (24.52 feet), the Mississippi River has dropped to 18.93 feet and is expected to fall below flood stage by Tuesday night. The June 2 crest was the second crest of 2019 to reach the historic top five following a 24.33 crest on May 3, 2019.
Mississippi Drive and 2nd Street were reopened to traffic on Friday, June 14. The two streets were closed twice for flooding in 2019, the first closure lasting 57 days (March 25-May 20) and the second for 18 days (May 28-June 14).
2019 FLOOD BY THE NUMBERS
- 96 consecutive days above flood stage - The Mississippi River has been above flood stage (March 15-June 18).
- 60 consecutive days at or above moderate flood stage (18 feet) – The Mississippi River was at or above moderate flood stage March 17 to May 16, and from May 19 to June 15. During 2019, a total of 88 out of 90 days were in moderate flood stage or above.
- 20 consecutive days at or above major flood stage (20 feet). The Mississippi River was at or above major flood stage for 59 of the 82 days between March 23 and June 12 (03/23-03/30 – 8 days; 04/01-04/20 – 20 days; 04/27-05/11 – 15 days; and, 05/28-06/12 – 16 days).
- 5 rises and 5 falls. 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.
1993 FLOOD BY THE NUMBERS
- 103 total days above flood stage – During the 1993 flood the Mississippi River spent 103 days over a 121 day period above flood stage (April 5-August 4) including 55 consecutive days (June 10-August 3) and 45 consecutive days (April 5-May 19).
- 32 consecutive days at or above major flood stage (20 feet). During the 1993 flood the Mississippi River was above major flood stage for 32 consecutive days (June 27-July 28) and earlier for 10 days (April 21-April 30).
- 36 consecutive days at or above moderate flood stage (18 feet). During the 1993 flood the Mississippi River was above moderate flood stage for 36 consecutive days (June 25-July 30) and earlier for 23 days (April 8-May 4).
MORE HIGH CRESTS DURING APRIL
- The April 9, 2019, crest of 21.95 feet was the eighth highest in Muscatine history and the third highest April crest.
- On April 29, 1965, the Mississippi River crested at 24.81 feet, a level that held the record for the highest crest until 1993. The second highest April flood came on April 25, 2001 when the river crested at 23.50 feet, the seventh highest crest overall.
- Five of the top 10 and 13 of the top 25 Mississippi River crests occurred during April.
- Also in the top 25 were three in July including the record 25.61 foot crest (July 9, 1993), three in May including the fifth highest at 24.33 feet (May 3, 2019), two in June including the third highest crest at 24.52 feet (June 2, 2019), two in March, and two in October including last year’s 20.73 foot crest (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
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