MUSCATINE, Iowa – The Department of Public Works closed the 2nd Street flood gate at Mad Creek today (Oct. 9) as the Mississippi River continues to risen toward major flood stage.
Director of Public Works Brian Stineman said that the closure is being done based on the current predicted river flood elevation and the potential for heavy rainfall tonight and Wednesday.
"We will be closely monitoring the river and Corps of Engineers flood predictions," Stineman said.
The Mississippi River is forecast to reach major flood stage (20.0 feet) on Saturday and rise to 20.8 feet by Tuesday. However, with heavy rain forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday those levels could increase over the next couple of days. The Mississippi River is currently at 18.74 feet.
The closure of the Mad Creek flood gate will have an affect on the time schedule for construction work on 2nd Street. KE Flatwork had been preparing the east bound lane from the railroad crossing to Mad Creek for pouring concrete but were asked to create a temporary lane from the Oak Street to Family Dollar.
"Closing the flood gate at Mad Creek closed off access to Family Dollar from Park Avenue," Jim Edgmond, city engineer, said. "It was in our contingency plans to create a temporary access road to Family Dollar if we had to close the gate."
KE Flatwork worked throughout this morning to create the temporary lane and will continue to work as they can until the flooding threat recedes.
"It does change our timetable somewhat but hopefully the delay will not be a long one," Edgmond said.
With the flood gate closed at Mad Creek traffic into downtown Muscatine is detoured from the east to Park Avenue to 5th Street (non-truck traffic or Washington for truck traffic) to Mulberry Avenue. Temporary stop signs have been put in place at the intersection of 5th and Cypress.
Mississippi Drive was officially opened from Broadway to Mulberry Avenue last Friday and the redesigned roadway will have its first test from Mother Nature in the next week. One of the goals for reconstructing Mississippi Drive was to raise the roadway and lessen the impact of flooding. In the past, flood waters have affected Mississippi Drive at the Walnut Street intersection at 19-feet but so far the new configuration is passing the test.
For more information, visit Flood Resources on the Public Works page on the City of Muscatine web site.