MUSCATINE, Iowa – Mississippi Drive is now closed to traffic from the #1 alley on Mulberry Avenue to the Pine Street intersection according to the City of Muscatine Department of Public Works.
Flood waters from the Mississippi River are already covering Mississippi Drive from Mulberry Avenue to just east of the Iowa Avenue intersection and DPW officials believe the Iowa Avenue intersection will be under water sometime Tuesday night.
The Cedar Street intersection, which was raised during the Mississippi Drive Reconstruction Project along with the roadway from Sycamore to Walnut, remains clear of flood water at the present time but that will change overnight.
The truck detour for the full closure of Mississippi Drive will be the U.S. 61 bypass. Other vehicles can proceed east to Pine Street, then to 2nd or 3rd Street before turning onto Mulberry Avenue and using 5th or 8th (Washington) to reach Park Avenue.
Muscatine Power & Water (MPW) pulled the power cabinets for the traffic signals at Iowa and at Cedar earlier today with DPW placing temporary stop signs at Iowa while that intersection remains open.
SPRING 2019 FLOOD RECAP
The Mississippi River has been above flood stage (16-feet) since March 15 and above major flood stage (20-feet) since March 22. Muscatine has now had 46 consecutive days above flood stage in 2019. The record for consecutive days above flood stage is 55 set in 1993 (June 10-August 3). The Great Flood of 1993 had 103 days above flood stage during a stretch of 121 days that lasted from April 5 through August 4.
The top five flood crests were: (1) 25.61 feet on July 9, 1993; (2) 24.81 feet on April 29, 1965; (3) 24.42 feet on June 17, 2008; (4) 23.81 feet on July 5, 2014; and, (5) 23.50 feet on April 25, 2001.
Muscatine is currently at 22.83 feet (2:30 p.m. on April 30, 2019) with a forecasted crest of 24.1 feet Thursday, May 2.The current forecast calls for the river to remain above 22 feet until Monday, May 6, unless more rain falls north of the Muscatine area.
MORE FLOOD BARRIERS INSTALLED
DPW crews constructed a berm across Mulberry Avenue just south of the #1 Alley Tuesday. This is the first time that the wall, created with bags of sand wrapped in plastic, has been erected as part of flood prevention efforts.
The City constructed a berm Monday on the DPW lower lot between 5th and Washington Streets where Mad Creek is expected to spill over its banks. DPW also anticipates closing the rail line flood gate on the Heinz spur where the Mad Creek levee ends.
That leaves the rail line flood gate at Broadway as the only gate left open. That gate would not be closed until the river reaches 26-feet.
LEVEE INSPECTION UNDERWAY
The City of Muscatine continuously monitors the levee system during flood events but once the river level reaches a certain point, that monitoring becomes a 24-hour inspection. The City has been pumping seep water from several locations since the river reached the 20 foot mark and will continue to do so until the river recedes.