MUSCATINE, Iowa – The Mississippi River dropped below the 16 foot mark early Friday morning ending a stretch of 99 consecutive days of being above flood stage. How long the river stays within its banks remains to be seen as more rain is forecasted for the area and locations to the north.
The National Weather Service reported the Mississippi River was at 15.6 feet at its 6 a.m. reading Saturday (June 22) with the river forecasted to drop below 15 feet Sunday night and continue to recede. The river could rise slightly or level off for a few days depending on the amount and location of rainfall over the weekend. Flash flooding may be a 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 early next week.
The Department of Public Works has been working since Monday to clean the parking areas and Harbor Drive inside Riverside Park of the accumulated Mississippi River mud and debris. DPW used their own tanker truck and was assisted by the Muscatine Fire Department in hosing 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, and replacing mulch that was washed away from planting beds during the three months the park was under water. Reseeding and/or sodding of grassy areas damaged by the flood along with an extensive cleaning of the Mississippi Mist fountain will begin as soon as possible.
Over 100 volunteers from Kent Corporation were on hand Friday to help cleanup efforts inside the park.
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
1993 FLOOD BY THE NUMBERS
MORE HIGH CRESTS DURING APRIL
Information on Iowa’s flooding and disaster assistance www.floods.2019.iowa.gov
Flood Safety Tips and Resources https://www.weather.gov/safety/flood
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