MUSCATINE, Iowa – For the fifth time this spring, the Mississippi River is rising, continuing the rise and fall saga that has been playing out across the Upper Mississippi River Valley this spring. The Mississippi River at Muscatine crossed back into major flood stage at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday (May 28) and continues to rise.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports that the Mississippi River is at 20.38 feet and will rise to a projected crest of 22.8 feet late Saturday or early Sunday. The projection is based on estimated rainfall over the next 24 hours. Any additional heavy rain to the north along with inflows from tributaries could change the projected crest.
“Once the river reaches 22 feet we will begin walking the levees again on a continuous basis,” Brian Stineman, Director of the Department of Public Works for the City of Muscatine, said. “Other than that we are pretty much back to where we were a couple of weeks ago and just waiting to see what the river does.”
The National Weather Service has high confidence that the crest at Muscatine will reach 22.3 feet but also states that the most likely crest range could be between 22.5 and 23.5 feet occurring June 1-3.
The Mississippi River was in the minor to moderate flood stage for the past 17 days and that allowed City staff to clean and reopen, at least temporarily, Mississippi Drive along with some cleaning of Pearl City Station inside Riverside Park. However, projections late last week led to the City closing Flood Structure #1 (at Mulberry) and Flood Structure #2 (at 2nd Street) Sunday (May 26) along with Mississippi Drive from the #1 alley on Mulberry to Iowa Avenue.
The repeated rise and fall of the Mississippi River during flooding is not uncommon. In 1993, the year of the record flood in Muscatine, the Mississippi River had four periods of the river rising and then falling with a record crest of 25.61 feet on July 9 after a crest pf 21.29 feet on April 25. The other two minor crests in 1993 came on April 11 (18.23 feet) and Aug. 23 (16.37 feet).
The National Weather Service continues the Flood Warning for Muscatine and has also issued a Flash Flood Watch for the Muscatine area due to the moderate risk of severe weather through Wednesday.
The Mississippi River has been above flood stage (16 feet) since March 16 (73 days) and was above moderate flood stage (18 feet) for 61 consecutive days (March 16-May 16). The river rose back into moderate flood stage on May 19 (71 of the last 73 days)
The Mississippi River dropped below major flood stage (20-feet) on May 11 bringing an end to a record 50 straight days of being above major flood stage. After 17 days below that mark, the river rose back above major flood stage on May 28.
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
WHEN THE SIREN SOUNDS
The outdoor warning sirens are activated when a severe thunderstorm warning or a tornado warning is issued by the National Weather Service (NWS), or a tornado or funnel cloud has been spotted by a trained weather spotter. A warning is issued if the NWS or a trained spotter reports winds greater than 70 mph and/or golf ball sized hail or greater is observed.
Straight line winds several years ago caused damage to the community, including the loss of several large trees in Weed Park.
Because of the safety concerns of these thunderstorms is similar to the safety concerns for tornadoes, there is no difference in siren tones. Sirens are also utilized for non-weather safety concerns, which could include a large hazardous materials release or terrorist event.
Residents should also have a battery operated weather radio on hand, or similar device, to keep up to date on weather events.
Read more at https://www.muscatineiowa.gov/750/Severe-Weather
TORNADO QUICK FACTS AND PREPAREDNESS
While Mississippi River flooding is one of the biggest concerns in the area, the recent severe weather events, including a pair of tornadoes in southeast Iowa this week, highlights the realization that all types of severe weather (damaging winds, large hail, tornadoes, frequent lightning, heavy rain, flash flooding) are possible at this time of year.
Quick facts you should know about tornadoes:
SPRING 2019 FLOOD RECAP
Roads (Downtown Muscatine Detour Map)
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